Japan’s most famous fashion designer, Kenzo Takada, the founder of the global Kenzo brand, has died in Paris after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman said.
Takada, the first Japanese designer to gain prominence on the highly-competitive Paris fashion scene, died on Sunday in the American hospital of Paris. He was 81.
Takada’s death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in Paris. He retired from fashion in 1999, six years after selling his eponymous brand to the luxury conglomerate LVMH, and dedicated his time to one-off projects, including a collection at the start of this year.
Takada came to France from Japan in 1965 by boat, landing in Marseille before making his way to Paris. He had planned only a short stay in the French capital, but Paris eventually became his home.
He created his first collection for women in 1970, had his first show for men in 1983 and launched his first perfume, Kenzo Kenzo, in 1988. He was particularly known for his signature floral prints.