Jun Ashida, Empress Michiko's Ex-Personal Designer, Dies

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 22 (Jiji Press)--Jun Ashida, founder of the eponymous brand and a former personal designer of Japanese Empress Michiko, died of pneumonia at his home in Tokyo on Saturday. He was 88.

Born the youngest of eight siblings in a doctor's family, Ashida decided to become a fashion designer after experiencing culture shock from seeing the clothes of one of his elder brothers and his wife, who had returned from the United States before World War II.

He studied under Junichi Nakahara, a Japanese artist with influence over a wide range of areas at the time, including magazines, fashion and interior design.

In 1960, Ashida became a consulting designer for department store chain Takashimaya Co. <8233>, and in 1963, he launched a clothing brand, the predecessor of his own Jun Ashida brand.

Specializing in a traditional and sophisticated style of clothing, Ashida long worked in the front lines of the fashion industry, including presenting his work on Tokyo Collection runways since 1964.

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