Hanae Mori (森 英恵) was a Japanese fashion designer and truly someone who shattered glass ceilings, doors, and walls. In 1951, ffter attending dress making school, she opened her first atelier. She designed clothes for movies, Japanese Airlines flight attendants, and for society women. A true first waver, she inspired other Asian designers such as Kenzo and Issey Miyake, both of whom would visit her atelier for advice. By the 1990s, she was running a multi-million dollar business and was first Asian woman admitted by the Fédération française de la couture as an official haute couture design house.
The Japanese Imperial House is not known for promoting the fashion designers behind the royal wardrobes, however we do know that Masako was one of Mori’s patrons. The then-Crown Princess was the source of Mori’s highest profile commission. In 1993, the design house produced Masako’s robe décolleté and orange robe montante for the Imperial wedding celebrations.
Hanae Mori died on August 11, age 96
In 1993, Mori designed then-Crown Princess Masako’s robe décolleté and orange robe montante for wedding celebrations. pic.twitter.com/6mMwJiu6h0
— Prisma 😷 (@ImperialJPNfan) August 21, 2022
Mori designed three generations of the Japanese Airlines (JAL) flight attendant uniforms.
Her runway designs were more colorful and less structural than her uniforms or royal designs. Here the designer lets her creativity flow and the results are spectacular.
The design house suffered some financial setbacks in the later half of the twentieth century. Hanae Mori died last year, but the business has recovered and is currently run by her two sons.