Yumi Katsura, a bridal fashion designer known for popularizing Western-style wedding dresses in Japan, died Friday, her company said. She was 94.

Japanese wedding dress designer Yumi Katsura poses for a photo at her workshop in Tokyo on March 16, 2023. She died on April 26, 2024, at age 94. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Katsura, whose real name was Yumi Yuki, studied haute couture in Paris before teaching at a dressmaking school run by her mother. She began working as Japan's first bridal fashion designer in 1964.

She designed a vestment for the late Pope John Paul II using "Hakata-ori" weaving techniques in 1993, and became the first regular member from Asia of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion in 1999.

She participated in Paris Haute Couture Week for the first time in 2003.

A Tokyo native, Katsura opened her store in the capital and held the country's first bridal fashion show, promoting Western-style wedding dresses in postwar Japan where kimono had been the traditional choice.

In the 1970s, she released ready-to-wear wedding dresses, marketed as able to be "bought with a month's salary," that became widely popular.

Her dresses were also known for their signature "Yumi Line" designs inspired by the trailing hemline of kimono.

The cause of her death was not disclosed.

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