Legendary fashion designer and founder of the Kenzo house, Kenzo Takada, has died in France at the age of 81 from complications of coronavirus.
Kenzo, who founded his house in 1970, was known for his colourful, floral designs combining Eastern and Western influences and was a contemporary of fellow design icons such as Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.
Born in Japan in 1938, Kenzo settled in Paris in 1964 before launching his own label and is known for creating more than 8,000 designs during his career. He sold the Kenzo label to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1993 and retired from the house in 1999. Latterly he set up his own lifestyle label K-3.
The house of Kenzo responded to news of his passing, which happened at Paris Fashion Week draws to a close, with “immense sadness”. “For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry – always infusing creativity and color into the world. Today, his optimism, zest for life and generosity continue to be pillars of our Maison. He will be greatly missed and always remembered,” the house said.
Designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista currently heads the house and added. “It is with great sadness that I have learned the passing away of Mr Kenzo Takada. His amazing energy, kindness and talent were contagious. His kindred spirit will live forever. Rest in peace Master.”
Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, CEO of Takada’s K-3 brand, also released a statement to say: “Kenzo Takada was incredibly creative; with a stroke of genius, he imagined a new artistic and colourful story combining East and West – his native Japan and his life in Paris.”