Kenzo Takada, the iconic French-Japanese fashion designer famed for his jungle-infused designs and free-spirited aesthetic has died.
The family said in a statement to French media Sunday that Takada died from complications from COVID-19 in a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris.
The fashion house said in a statement,
“It is with immense sadness that KENZO has learned of the passing of our founder.
For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry — always infusing creativity and color into the world.”
Takada’s death came at theend of Paris Fashion Week. It was only days ago that the house of Kenzo unveiled its bee-themed collection.
Kenzo’s artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who unveiled the bee-themed collection to fashion editors Wednesday said,
“His amazing energy, kindness, talent and smile were contagious. His kindred spirit will live forever.”
Kenzo retired from his house in 1999 to pursue a career in art. Since 1993, the Kenzo brand has been owned by the French luxury goods company LVMH.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH said,
“Kenzo Takada has, from the 1970s, infused into fashion a tone of poetic lightness and sweet freedom which inspired many designers after him.”
Studying at the Bunka College of Fashion in Tokyo, Kenzo =had a brief stint =in Japan, before relocating to Paris in 1965, to work as a freelance designer.
Yves Saint Laurent was an inspiration, Kenzo has said. He shared Saint Laurent’s penchant for theatrics. In the late 70s, he showed in a circus tent, and it featured himself riding an elephant, and performers rode horses wearing see-through uniforms.
His contribution to style was significant. He championed a youthful aesthetic and unstructured form, and did away with zippers to liberate silhouettes. His signatures were of wider sleeves and arm holes, that harked to historic styles in his home continent of Asia.
Kenzo Takada was 81.
(via CBS News)