MADRID (AP) — Manuel Mota, a Spanish dress designer specializing in bridal gowns for top models and high society, has died. He was 46.

Mota had been the creative director of Spanish fashion company Pronovias for the past 23 years. He helped build the family company into a world brand for wedding dresses.

The fashion house said in a statement that Mota died Tuesday at his home near Barcelona. Wednesday's statement did not give the cause of death.

Australian model Miranda Kerr and Israeli model Bar Rafaeli appeared on the catwalks in Mota's bridal creations. Mota also designed the celebrated dress of Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes for her 2010 wedding.

Modesto Lomba, president of Spain's Association of Fashion Designers, predicted that Mota's ideas and dress patterns would one day be studied at design schools.

"He's a reference for wedding fashion worldwide," Lomba said in a statement. "His work will endure in historical studies."

Spanish model Ariadne Artiles, who wore a dress from Mota's bridal collection at her own wedding, said the designer was patient with women's dress demands.

"I remember many fun times when I asked him for the impossible and he made it easy," Artiles said on Twitter. "He was a delightful man, good-looking, fun to be with and one of the most sensitive men I've ever met."

Mota's fashion house said it had lost a great artist.

"The Pronovias family has lost one of its dearest members. We will keep the memories of so many collections, so many catwalks, so much effort, so much talent and so many dreams shared by all," its statement said.

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