Yumi Katsura, a pioneer of bridal fashion in Japan who once designed papal vestments for St. John Paul II, has died at the age of 94, her firm Yumi Katsura International announced on Tuesday.

Synonymous with wedding dresses in Japan, Katsura had developed a unique style combining Japan’s traditional techniques with French motifs throughout a career spanning over half a century.

Having studied fashion design in Tokyo and Paris, she became the first designer of Western wedding dresses in Japan in 1964 and opened the nation’s very first bridal store the next year, when only 3% of brides wore a Western dress to their wedding instead of a traditional kimono.

Katsura began to shine overseas in the 1980s, when she attended the New York fashion show for the first time in 1981 and opened China’s first bridal fashion show in Beijing in 1986. In 1993, she designed vestments for the late pope, who wore them to the Easter Mass the same year.

In 2012, she won a Guinness World Record for the most pearls — 13,262 — on a wedding dress. Her most recent fashion show was held on March 5 in Tokyo, where she revealed her latest collection of about 70 items.