‘Madame Butterfly’ Hanae Mori passes away aged 96

‘Madame Butterfly’ Hanae Mori passes away aged 96

TOKYO (AFP): Japanese fashion designer Hanae Mori, who cracked the elite world of Parisian haute couture, has died at her home in Tokyo aged 96, Japanese media reported Thursday.

Nicknamed “Madame Butterfly” for her signature winged motif, over the decades Mori´s luxurious creations were worn by Nancy Reagan, Grace Kelly and numerous other members of high society.

But she was also a pioneer for Japanese women as one of a tiny number to head an international corporation.

Mori died on August 11, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday, citing her office, without giving further details.

Public broadcaster NHK and other media outlets also reported the news, saying a private family funeral had already taken place and giving the cause of her death as “old age”.

Mori´s trailblazing career took her from Tokyo, where she started out making costumes for cinema, to New York and Paris, where in 1977 her label became the first Asian fashion house to join the rarefied ranks of haute couture.

Her first collection abroad, in New York in 1965, celebrated the theme “East Meets West”.

Japanese fashion greats such as Issey Miyake, who died earlier this month, followed in her path.

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