Kenzo Takada, First Japanese Designer To Conquer Paris Fashion, Dies Aged 81

Japan’s most famous fashion designer Kenzo Takada, founder of the global Kenzo brand, died in the French capital on Sunday aged 81 after contracting coronavirus.

Tributes have poured in for Takada, the first Japanese designer to decamp to Paris and known especially for his signature floral prints.

“Today, his optimism, zest for life and generosity continue to be pillars of our Maison (House). He will be greatly missed and always remembered,” the Kenzo fashion house he founded wrote on Twitter.

Kenzo Takada founded his fashion house in 1970 and took Paris by storm Kenzo Takada founded his fashion house in 1970 and took Paris by storm Photo: AFP / JOEL SAGET

 

He “helped to write a new page in fashion, at the confluence of the East and the West”, said Ralph Toledano of the Haute Couture Federation.

His death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in Paris, which he adopted as his home. “Every wall, every sky and every passer-by

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Fashion Designer Kenzo Takada Dies of COVID-19 at 81

Kenzo Takada, fashion designer and founder of the brand Kenzo, has died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, from COVID-19. He was 81.

Takada’s death was confirmed Sunday morning by a post on the Kenzo brand Facebook page.

“For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry – always infusing creativity and color into the world,” the post reads. “Today, his optimism, zest for life and generosity continue to be pillars of our Maison. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.”

Kenzo’s creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, also remembered Takada with an Instagram tribute, writing “His amazing energy, kindness, talent and smile were contagious. His kindred spirit will live forever.”

Born in Himeji, Japan, on Feb. 27, 1939, Takada discovered his love for fashion at an early age and enrolled at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo in 1958. He eventually moved to Paris in 1965 to

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