04 October 2020 22:32
Kenzo Takada has died at the age of 81. The Japanese fashion designer died of coronavirus just days after his namesake brand showed its spring/summer 2021 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Takada is understood to have been at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, when he passed away on Sunday 4 October. Kenzo Takada at the autumn/winter 2020 Kenzo show in Paris in February © Pierre Suu Takada, along with Issey Miyake and Hanae Mori, was part of the first wave of Japanese designers in the 1970s to break into the rarefied world of Paris fashion. Known for his innovative approach to cutting garments and exuberant use of colour and pattern, his designs were inspired by a kind of wanderlust, with an eclectic mix of different global styles and cultures.
An early adopter of the ready-to-wear business model, Takada was also among the first to reimagine the fashion show as a theatrical spectacular. Born in Himeji, Japan, in 1940, Takada developed an early interest in fashion through reading his sister's magazines. In 1964 he moved to Paris, where traditional couture still dominated the fashion scene. For five years Takada worked as a freelance "styliste", selling sketches to couture houses, and opening his first boutique, Jungle Jap, at Galerie Vivienne in 1970. His early designs, with their combination of riotous print and traditional Japanese silhouettes, proved revolutionary. With Azzedine Alaia and Grace Jones at Paris Fashion Week in the 1990s © Foc Kan That year, his designs featured in US Vogue, which declared Takada's quirky boutique – with its smock tent dresses and dizzying prints – among the chicest shopping destinations in the French capital. Takada went on to build a global brand that encompassed womenswear, menswear, two sportswear lines and a highly successful fragrance business. Projects included Gokan Kobo, a high-end home accessories brand, and in 2016 Avon announced a new partnership with Takada to create a line of fragrances. The Kenzo Takada Collection, a collaboration with the French design house Roche Bobois, was unveiled in the summer of 2017. Takada became president of the Asian Couture Foundation in 2013, and he was honoured with the lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Fashion Editors' Club of Japan Awards. He also continued to support the brand he founded – he attended the Kenzo autumn/winter 2020 show in Paris in February. "I'm a little bit nostalgic about fashion shows and the energy behind them," Takada told a journalist in one of the last interviews he did in 2017. Takada was the first Japanese designer to make a mark on the Paris fashion scene The Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada has died in Paris after contracting Covid-19, a spokesperson has announced. Takada, known best by his first name, was the first designer from Japan to break into the city's exclusive fashion milieu in the 1970s. His prêt-à-porter designs with their trademark profusion of bright colours, flowers and jungle prints were a far cry from the traditional Parisian mode of the time, when chic salon presentations were largely prim and proper affairs. Kenzo, who died at the American hospital on Sunday, was famous not only for his clothes, but went on to create a global brand of perfume and skin products. The young Kenzo was inspired by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, an interest encouraged by his teacher at Bunka who had trained in Paris. In 1965 he left Japan by boat and via Hong Kong, Vietnam and India, arrived in the French port of Marseille from where he travelled to Paris, initially just to visit. Later he set up his own design house in Place des Victoires. In 2016, he was made a knight of the Legion of Honour and in 2019 was lured back into fashion design to create the costumes for the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation's production of Madame Butterfly. At the beginning of this year he launched a new interior design brand called K3. Paris-based Japanese designer Kenzo Takada, famous for creating the international luxury fashion house Kenzo, died in Paris on Sunday due to Covid-19 related complications, a spokesperson for Takada's luxury K-3 brand said in a statement sent 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 read. Kenzo Takada's designs were a mix of loud colors and prints inspired by his worldwide travels. In 1970, Takada rocked Paris with the debut of his namesake fashion line. Sold out of his first boutique, called Jungle Jap, his designs were a chaotic mix of loud colors and mismatched prints inspired by his travels around the world. The designer inaugurated his flagship store in Paris' Place des Victoires by 1976, and over the next three decades, he racked up numerous accolades and accomplishments--including a slew of magazine covers, the launch of a perfume empire and, in 1993, his brand's purchase by luxury conglomerate LVMH--before retiring to pursue other creative pursuits in 1999. Kenzo during one of his world travels which later inspired the brand's collections. Credit: Kenzo Takada "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," Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, CEO of Takada's K-3 brand, launched in January of this year, said in a statement. Kenzo Takada was the epitome of the art of living," he added. The Japanese fashion designer who founded Kenzo has died from coronavirus today in a hospital near Paris. Kenzo Takada, 81, died at the American hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a spokesman for the fashion star confirmed. The self-made Japanese and French designer is known worldwide under his first name Kenzo, which he shared with his fashion brand famed for colourful and eccentric designs. His death comes just four days after the brand showed its spring/summer 2021 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Despite leaving the brand in 1999 to enjoy a 'permanent holiday' of a retirement Kenzo was still involved in maintaining the brand's seamless mix of traditional Japanese fashion and modern western style that it is famed for. Kenzo Takada, 81, died from coronavirus in a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, today The Japanese-French designer is known worldwide under his first name Kenzo and his fashion brand is famed for its colourful and quirky designs Kenzo, who was born on February 27, 1939, in Himeji, Japan, to hoteliers, developed his love for fashion at a young age while reading his sisters' magazines. After becoming one of the first male students to study at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo he travelled to Paris for the first time in 1965 at the age of 26 to become a freelance designer. He had only intended to stay in Paris for a few months before returning to Japan, but became determined to create a brand for himself as a designer. Five years later, in the spring of 1970, Kenso used just $200 worth of fabric to create his first fashion collection which was mostly cotton to keep costs down. The same year he took over a Paris boutique and had his clothing featured on the front cover of Elle magazine. Kenzo opened his flagship store, Kenzo, in the Place des Victoires in October 1976. Pictured: A Kenzo catwalk at his autumn/winter 1986-1987 show As his fashion brand began to steadily grow as more and more people were exposed to it, Kenzo also delved into the perfume world. Pictured: Kenzo's spring/summer 2019 fashion show Kenzo releases butterflies during the birthday cake illumintion during the Kenzo Takada Birthday Party as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Japanese fashion designer Kenzo salutes the audience at the end of his's ready-to-wear autumn/winter 1998/99 Two fashion models wear a haute couture dress and a matador's bullfighting uniform by Japanese fashion designer Kenzo in 1983 Kenzo opened his flagship store, Kenzo, in the Place des Victoires in October 1976 and was awarded the Fashion Editor Club of Japan's prize. As his fashion brand steadily grew in 1988 Kenzo delved into the perfume world, with scents that went on to be named some of the most 'classic' French fragrances of all time by Vogue. Kenzo pictured at his autumn/winter 1991-1992 fashion show in Paris Pictured: The Kenzo collection at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year He announced his retirement from fashion in 1999 to pursue a career in art, leaving designers Roy Krejberg and Gilles Rosier to handle the design of Kenzo's men's and women's clothing. He occasionally ventured back into the fashion world such as when he designed the costumes for Madame Butterfly in 2019. In 2019, Takada discussed his departure from fashion design, telling CNN that he still sketches, but no longer for luxury fashion. He added: 'Paris for me, I definitely saw it as the capital of fashion and today there's still that certain elegance, French elegance, a French way of dressing,' he told the outlet. Of course now, fashion is everywhere; in New York, Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, everywhere. Kenzo Takada, the designer whose exuberant prints helped bring Japanese fashion to the world, died on Sunday at a hospital in Paris. The cause was complications of the novel coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the designer said, adding that he had been sick for a few weeks. Known for his beaming smile and mischievous sense of fun — one of his more famous sayings was "fashion is like eating, you shouldn't stick with the same menu" — Mr. Takada, who was generally referred to only as Kenzo, shook up the established French fashion world after arriving from Japan in 1964. "Fashion is not for the few — it is for all the people," he told The New York Times in 1972.