• Kyodo

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Fashion designer Hanae Mori held her last show in Paris on Wednesday, preparing to leave the fashion world after a career spanning about half a century.

Mori, who has announced plans to retire from the forefront of the fashion business, held the show at a Paris hotel. She plans to present the same collection of new designs in Tokyo in September.

The finale of Mori’s 2004-2005 autumn/winter season collection featured dresses with her trademark butterfly patterns. The 78-year-old Mori appeared on the catwalk with her granddaughter, Izumi, who wore a wedding dress designed by Mori.

“I feel that it’s all over,” Mori said. “I was happy to see all of my good friends of the past 27 years come here. I feel no loneliness.”

She began her career in the 1950s, becoming in 1977 the first Asian to join the Haute Couture Association.

The Japanese designer has been exclusively working on couture items since selling her Hanae Mori brand.

But generating a profit solely by catering to well-heeled couture clients is believed to be extremely difficult, given that there are only about 500 clients of this kind in the world.

Her company, Hanae Mori International Co., filed for court protection in 2002 under the corporate rehabilitation law, with liabilities totaling 10.1 billion yen.

She said she plans to train young designers in and around Tokyo.

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