Behind the Scenes with Yumi Katsura

Yumi Katsura
Yumi Katsura.

Yumi Katsura has been a designer for bridal fashion since the 1960s. She opened her first shop in Akasaka in 1964 and, since then, has accumulated a lot of experience in her industry. Over the years, she has seen many changes in business, trends, and personal life. Now, she wants to share her experiences through her new book, Yumi Katsura: Behind the Scenes.

I attended the book launch in 2019. During the afternoon, I learned a lot at Yumi’s Nogizaka salon, in Tokyo.  To help in the book’s creation, she invited a diverse group of women from different countries. They wrote nine short stories about her. Each touched upon her memories, business spirit, and personal life, including life with her late husband.

Yumi Katsura dressess
Yumi's shop.

The book was well overdue. Even though she has reached the fashion world’s very heights, this will be her first book in English! All her previous works were in Japanese. It is something her fans overseas will finally be able to enjoy.

She told us why she became a western-style wedding dress designer during the launch. It was a very surprising reason. She surveyed many female university students to find out what they wanted. In those days, women wore kimonos at their weddings. But, with more girls marrying foreign servicemen, they wanted the new culture. It looked beautiful to them.

Yumi Katsura and four women authors
Yumi Katsura and her writers.

But the launch wasn’t only about the book.  We also got a tour of her salon. The dresses we saw were beautiful, and you could see how much work had gone into creating them. It would have been great to photograph them worn by some real models. I have a lucky feeling that will happen soon! And it did! One month after this event, Yumi invited me to one of her events. You can see that here. Believe me, it was a real blast.

Yes, Amazon published Yumi’s book. It became available on Amazon on December 15, 2019. And if you want to see the website of her salon, you can see that here. It has some exquisite creations. Please check it out.

What photo gear did I use for these Yumi Katsura photos?

  • Camera body: Fujifilm X-T2
  • Lens: XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

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