World famous Japanese designer Kenzo Takada dies from Covid-19

Japanese-French fashion designer Kenzo Takada
Kenzo was known for his love of graphics and bright colours

The Japanese founder of popular fashion brand Kenzo has died aged 81, from complications linked to coronavirus, tributes have poured in from all across the world for Kenzo Takada who died at the American hospital in Paris Known for his bright graphics, jungle inspired prints and eclectic use of colour, he was the first Japanese designer to gain prominence on the Paris fashion scene.

He settled in France in the 1960s and spent the rest of his career there, with his “nearly 8,000 designs”, the Japanese designer “never stopped celebrating fashion and the art of living”, his spokesman said.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo paid tribute to him on Twitter, “Designer of immense talent, he had given colour and light their place in fashion. Paris is now mourning one of its sons.” Many Japanese Twitter users posted their condolences on the platform, some of whom shared that their first ever luxury product was one from Kenzo. The first wallet I ever owned was from Kenzo, said one Twitter user. “Even though it’s a small thing I’ll always remember it. Rest in Peace.”

I have a Kenzo outfit passed down from my mum, said another, “I still wear it”. Many others said they owned Kenzo handkerchiefs an accessory which is still popular in Japan.

A haute couture dress and a matador's bullfighting uniform by Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada during his autumn-winter 1983-1984 fashion show in Paris
Kenzo Takada during his autumn-winter 1983-1984 fashion show in Paris

Born in 1939 in Himeji, Kenzo Takada arrived in France in 1965 by boat and settled in Paris, he founded the internationally known brand under his first name in the 1970s. He launched a men’s line in 1983, and later in the 1980s the more casual sportswear lines Kenzo Jeans and Kenzo Jungle. He sold his clothing brand to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1993 and eventually retired from fashion six years later.

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