Renowned all over the world for his printmaking, Paris-based Japanese designer Kenzo Takada passed away at the age of 81, having lost the battle with COVID-19.
The founder of global fashion brand Kenzo, Kenzo Takada, passed away in Paris on October 4 at the age of 81 due to the COVID-19 related complications, according to the spokesperson for Takada’s K3 brand in a statement to CNN. “It is with immense sadness that the brand K-3 announces the loss of its celebrated artistic director, Kenzo Takada,” the statement read. “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.”
Takada was born in Japan but moved to Paris in 1964, at which point he began his fashion career. In 1970, he launched his namesake fashion line, which proved wildly popular with its loud colours and vibrant prints.The designer inaugurated his flagship store in Paris’ Place des Victoires in 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.
Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, CEO of Takada’s K-3 brand, also shared a statement following Takada’s death, in which he reflected on the designer’s curiosity and open-mindedness. “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,” Manheim recalled. “I had the chance to work alongside him for many years, always in awe, admiring his curiosity and his open-mindedness. He seemed quiet and shy at first, but he was full of humour. He was generous and always knew how to look after the people close to his heart. He had a zest for life… Kenzo Takada was the epitome of the art of living,”