Designer Kenzo Takada, Founder of Kenzo Brand, Dies at 81 of Coronavirus Complications

JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images Japanese designer Kenzo Takada has died. He was 81. The

JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

Japanese designer Kenzo Takada has died. He was 81.

The founder of the global Kenzo brand died in Paris from coronavirus complications, his spokesperson told Agence France Presse. His death occurred during Paris Fashion Week.

On Wednesday, designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista debuted the brand’s spring/summer 2021 collection at a socially-distanced show.

The first Japanese designer to make his mark in Paris, Kenzo’s designs accentuated his love of graphics and large floral prints. After a nearly 30-year career in France, he sold his eponymous fashion house to LVMH in 1993 and retired from fashion six years later.

Then, he returned with the launch of a homewares brand last January. The move came over 50 years after he first launched Jungle Jam, which became known simply as Kenzo.

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Born February 27, 1939, in Himeji near Osaka, Kenzo was passionate about drawing and sewing, which were taught to his sisters. Arriving in Marseilles by boat in 1965, he ventured to Paris and decided to stay. His first collection was launched in 1970 from his boutique in the Galerie Vivienne.

In 1976, he moved to a nearby Place des Victoires location opening his celebrated Paris fashion house. From feminine lines, he grew to embrace menswear and perfumes before ceding the direction of the house to LVMH.

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