Hanae Mori is a prominent Japanese designer, and her nickname is “Madam Butterfly.” She was born and raised in Muikaichi, Shimane until she was ten years old, and then she moved to Tokyo. In 1948 she married Ken Mori, whose family ran a fibre company. While working for her husband’s family business, she studied dressmaking at a school. In 1951 she established her dressmaking shop named Hiyoshiya in Shinjuku. One day Hanae was asked to make an attire by a US ARMY captain’s wife. The wife’s garment was so exquisite as to shock Hanae. The foreign-made dress was formed three-dimensional and rounded. Japanese-made ones, on the other hand, had planar shapes because they were based on kimonos. Having never seen such a Western dress before, Hanae was led by this culture shock to get out of traditional Japanese dresses and started making her original garments. In 1954 she opened her boutique “Hanae Mori” in Ginza, which was and is one of the greatest locations in Japan. Her boutique was so well-reputed as to receive requests to make dresses for movies. However, she was disappointed with the attitude of the Japanese fashion industry. Although she became a well-reputed designer, the Japanese fashion industry was so worshipping the Westen designers as not to evaluate her ability correctly.
Such sadness forced her to move her base of operations overseas. In the New York collection in 1965 Hanae’s elegant dresses featuring a motif of butterflies were so attractive as to bring her an indisputable nickname:” Madam Butterfly “. Her childhood memories inspired her to use the butterfly as a motif, and the success in the New York collection brought her inquiries from first-class department stores in New York like BERGDORF GOODMAN and NEIMAN MARCUS. The New York collection’s success enabled her to debut in the Paris fashion show, and her fashion design mesmerized Parisians. This expansion of her business made Hanae Mori the top garment brand in Japan and all over the world. What is more, her logo license business for product makers enabled her to expand its company sales scale up to 10 billion yen. In 1977 she was allowed to join the Paris Haute Couture Association as the first Asian designer.
Her business had gone well until the end of the 20century, but the management of Hanae Mori was at a loss in 2002. Having applied for Civil Rehabilitation law, Hanae Mori was swallowed up by Mitsui. On July 7th 2014 Hanae retired from her job as a designer.