Kenzo Takada Dead: Designer Dies of COVID-19

Kenzo Takada dead

Getty PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 22: Kenzo Takada attends the Jean-Paul Gaultier 50th Birthday Cocktail and Party at Theatre du Chatelet on January 22, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images For Jean-Paul Gaultier)

Kenzo Takada, a Japanese designer who founded the fashion house, Kenzo, in Paris has died of the coronavirus, his company announced. He was 81.

Takada died at a French hospital due to complication of COVID-19 on October 4, 2020, according to CNN.

“It is with immense sadness that the brand K-3 announces the loss of its celebrated artistic director, Kenzo Takada. The world-renowned designer passed away on October 4th, 2020 due to Covid-19 related complications at the age of 81 at the American Hospital, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France,” the statement said.

Here’s what you need to know:

Takada Was Called ‘An Emblematic Personality’ Who Was ‘Always Infusing Creativity & Color Into the World

Takada was remembered by his fashion house in an “ode to our founder” in the hours after his passing. His brand wrote about the impact the designer had on the fashion industry and in the world through his creativity and personality. His legacy will live on through his fashion and through his optimism, the statement said.

It said:

It is with immense sadness that KENZO has learned of the passing of our founder, Kenzo Takada. 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.
“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.” -@felipeoliveirabaptista

Takada was born in 1939 near Osaka, and traveled to France by boat in 1965. He founded his brand name in the 1970s, which gained international recognition. He also launched a men’s line in 1983, followed by the casual sportswear lines Kenzo Jeans and Kenzo Jungle. In 1993, he sold his brand to LVMH, a luxury conglomerate, and retired from fashion in 1999, BBC reported.

Takada Was the First Japanese Designer to Gain Prominence in the Paris Fashion Scene & the Mayor of Paris Wrote a Tribute to Him

Takada made a mark for himself in Paris, France with his bold designs, creative color choices and mismatched prints. He moved to Paris in the 1960s and settled in the city where he would spend the rest of his career, according to BBC.

Takada created “nearly 8,000 designs” and “never stopped celebrating fashion and the art of living,” his spokesman told BBC.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wrote a tribute to the designer on Twitter in French. She described Takada as a son of Paris.

“Designer of immense talent, he had given colour and light their place in fashion. Paris is now mourning one of its sons,” she wrote.

Kenzo is a part of LVMH luxury conglomerate. Sidney Toledano, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Fashion Group told WWD he was a fan of Kenzo’s work back in the 1970s.

“I was a fan of the brand in the Seventies when he started. I think he was a great designer,” he said. “I’m very sad. He was a great guy.”

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