Did you know that Japan has one of the world’s most prolific fashion designers? Her name is Yumi Katsura, popular for her stunning wedding dresses that are considered modern masterpieces. She is also known for showcasing the most expensive wedding dress to date, which is valued at one billion Japanese yen. Find out more about her!
Yumi Katsura was born in 1932 in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Kyoritsu Women’s University, she moved to Paris and studied haute couture at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. In 1964, Katsura went back to Tokyo and opened her first bridal salon. She also held the first wedding parade in the country and published “The Bridal Book,” which was the first Japanese book that specialized in bridal fashion.
After her success, Katsura expanded her business outside the country. She opened stores in France, England, and the USA. Popular upscale department stores such as Henri Bendel and Neiman Marcus purchased her dresses.
In 1988, the Yumi Katsura Bridal Museum, a museum that exhibits authentic and traditional bridal gowns from all over the world, was established in Kobe.
Katsura became highly distinguished around the world and became the first official Asian member of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. She is currently the head of the Federation of Asia & Pacific Bridal Association and a member of the Asian Couture Federation.
In 1993, Katsura presented a papal vestment to the then pope, St. Pope John Paul II. The pope wore it during an Easter Mass.
At the beginning of 2018, Yumi Katsura achieved a dream she has long been waiting for – she was allowed to have a show at the opulent Akasaka Palace. So far, she is the only designer to have ever been permitted to do so. Katsura presented Western-style ball gowns with a traditional Japanese twist to royal people. Around 60 dresses graced the runway, all of which were meticulously made.
Yumi Katsura has a huge collection of bridal gowns with different silhouettes such as ball gown, A-line, mermaid, fit and flare, sheath, high-low, modified A-line, etc. She also experiments with different necklines such as strapless, sweetheart, V-neck, scoop, Queen Anne, shoulder straps, illusion, jewel, bateau, high, etc. Her waistlines range from natural, empire, dropped, basque, asymmetrical, etc.
Katsura has a total of 73 franchise shops in Japan, with flagship stores in Tokyo and Osaka. She also has 11 franchise shops in China, including two flagship stores in Beijing and Shanghai, 33 franchise shops in the USA, and one shop in France, Canada, and Myanmar.
Yumi Katsura is one prestigious Japanese designer worth knowing. Although her style is more Western-focused, she is trying to make kimono a more popular option with her recent collections. This can help boost traditional Japanese clothes not just in Japan but all over the world.