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Fashion designer Kenzo Takada, 81, dies of COVID-19

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Oct 05, 2020 11:11 pm

The world of fashion continues to mourn the loss of one if its icons, fashion designer Kenzo Takada, who founded the luxury fashion house Kenzo. He died from COVID-19 complications at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He was 81 years old.

In a statement on Instagram, the fashion house, now owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH since 1993, 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.”

Takada arrived in Paris from Japan in 1965 and initially sold sketches of designs to fashion houses. He opened Kenzo in 1970 at Galerie Vivienne, where he also presented the collection at his very first fashion show. He was the first Japanese fashion designer to find success in Paris in the early ‘70s.

The accomplished designer ventured into perfume, skincare and less-expensive clothing line before he retired in 1999 from Kenzo.

In January, Takada founded a luxury home and lifestyle brand K3, where he served as artistic director together with his team composed of Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, Engelbert Honorat and Wanda Jelmini.

On its Instagram page, K3 paid tribute to its founder: “It is with great sadness that we have learned that our dear friend Kenzo Takada passed away today. He was an inspiring and prodigious creator and we were proud to collaborate with him. We will always remember his smile and joie de vivre. The fashion, design world and all of us are mourning him tonight and extend our sincere condolences to his loved ones.”

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