The fashion industry mourns the loss of Kenzo Takada, a pioneering Japanese designer who made an indelible mark on the global fashion scene. Kenzo, aged 81, tragically passed away from Covid-19 in Paris during the midst of Paris Fashion Week, only days after his eponymous fashion house showcased its latest runway collection.
Kenzo’s remarkable journey in the world of fashion began in 1965 when he boldly moved from Tokyo to Paris. He quickly gained international recognition, first for his ‘Jungle Jap’ line and later for his eponymous brand, which expanded to encompass clothing, accessories, and fragrances.
In a pivotal moment in 1993, Kenzo decided to sell his iconic brand to the luxury powerhouse LVMH, marking a significant chapter in his life. He retired from the fashion world six years later but remained perpetually youthful and brimming with creative energy. Astonishingly, just last year, he launched his own design line, a testament to his enduring passion for creativity.
Born on February 27, 1939, near Osaka in Himeji, Japan, Kenzo Takada exhibited innate talent for drawing and sewing, nurtured by his sisters. His arrival in Paris in 1965 marked the genesis of a remarkable career that saw him debut his first signature collection in 1970 and open a boutique in the iconic Galerie Vivienne. In 1976, he relocated to a larger flagship boutique at Place des Victoires, a location that remains a cornerstone of the brand.
Throughout his illustrious career, Kenzo continued to innovate, unveiling his menswear collection in 1983 and introducing his inaugural fragrance, ‘Kenzo Kenzo,’ in 1988. His legacy is adorned with a staggering «nearly eight thousand designs,» each a celebration of fashion and the art of living.
Kenzo was not just a fashion icon; he was a beloved figure within the Paris fashion community, celebrated for his infectious joie de vivre, generous spirit, and distinctive, charmingly accented French. His passing leaves a void in the fashion world that will be deeply felt, and he will be dearly missed.
Kenzo Takada’s enduring impact on the world of fashion and his unwavering celebration of life will continue to inspire and resonate for generations to come. His legacy is a testament to the enduring power of creativity and passion in the world of fashion.