Fashion Biography

Hanae Mori, Fashion Designer

From Tokyo via New York to Paris Haute Couture. Student in Japanese Literature to Tok Won Women"s Christian College, Fashion Designer Hanae Mori turned after her marriage to studies of stylist and opened her first studio in 1951 in Tokyo. Soon, she became involved in the post war growing cinema industry, and designed more than 300 costumes for the films of the greatest directors, such as Ozu and Yoshimura.

When television began to take place of cinema, Hanae Mori was about to renounce to creation. At this moment, in 1961, she met as a customer for the first time Coco Chanel in Paris: decisive meeting which made her become aware that she was intended for the Haute Couture.

East meets West, such was the description made by the enthusiastic criticism when she presented her first collection in New York in 1965. Major American department stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and I. Magnin, recognized the originality of her designs and ordered her models. Then she opened two boutiques in New York, one at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and one on Madison Avenue at 79th street. In 1975, she showed her collection in Monte Carlo in the presence of Princess Grace, and in 1977 she opened her Haute Couture house and a boutique in Paris. The same year she became member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture rare privilege for a woman and exceptional for a foreigner.

Cultural Ambassador

Link between the Oriental culture and the Western culture, Hanae Mori initiates Japanese women with the luxury and the beauty of the Parisian fashion and, at the same time, mixes acutely the touches of Japanese aesthetics in the creations intended for her Parisian customers.

For her, fashion is an alive art. It is in her so rich cultural heritage, in particular from the traditional Theatre No and from the Edo period, that she draws her inspiration to create the beauty without ever betraying her origins.

Hanae Mori took up with the art of costume for opera and ballet: in 1985 she realized costumes for the opera Mrs Butterfly at La Scala of Milan, then those of the opera Electra for the 1996 Salzburg Festival and, in 1986 those of the Cinderella ballet directed by Rudolf Noureev for the Paris Opera.

Mrs Mori dresses a lot of personalities, as Princess Masako for whom she realized her bridal gown in 1993 as well as a lot of dresses for her official receptions.


Hanae Mori is a pioneer: in Japan where a woman is traditionally confined in the roles of wife, mother and housewife, she broke with these constraints to build a fashion empire. Hanae Mori is considered as one of the very first Japanese business women.

In 1995 Mrs Mori launched her first perfume called Hanae Mori, follow up later by Hanae Mori Haute Couture and Hanae Mori Homme.


Hanae Mori received Neiman Marcus Award in 1973.
In 1989 the French government named her Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion d"Honneur and the same year she was decorated with the medal of the order of the cultural merit Bunka Koro Sha, rewards which crowned her contribution to the brilliance of the international fashion. In 2002, Mrs Mori is high with the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion d"Honneur.

Today Hanae Mori shares her time between Place de l"Alma in Paris and Omotesando in Tokyo.

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By Courtney Lynne
I am an analyst by profession and researching is my passion. I also love to share my knowledge. Contact me on Google + and Twitter. Find us on Google+



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