The global fashion community is grieving the loss of legendary designer Kenzo Takada, who tragically lost his battle with coronavirus over the weekend. His passing has prompted an outpouring of sorrow, heartfelt tributes, and social media homages.
Kenzo passed away at the age of 81 at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, leaving an indelible mark on the fashion world. Widely referred to simply as ‘Kenzo,’ he was not only an iconic designer but also a symbol of creativity and positivity.
Known for his captivating smile, fearless use of color, fascination with floral motifs, and boundless joie de vivre, Kenzo was also renowned for his love of vibrant celebrations and parties.
Ralph Toledano, President of la Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the governing body of French fashion, acknowledged Kenzo’s profound influence: «With his innovative cuts, multicultural inspirations, and exotic prints, Kenzo undeniably wrote a new chapter in fashion, blending elements of both East and West.»
Kenzo Takada made his fashion debut in 1970 and was among the pioneering designers to join the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, du Prêt-à-porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode in 1973, a crucial component of today’s French fashion federation.
After a quarter-century of creating his unique brand, Kenzo made the decision to sell his business to LVMH, the prominent French luxury conglomerate, which maintains complete ownership to this day.
Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, paid tribute to Kenzo’s enduring legacy, describing him as a pioneer who infused fashion with «poetic lightness and sweet freedom» during the 1970s. Kenzo also left an indelible mark in the world of fragrance, and the Kenzo House continues to explore his visionary approach.
Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Kenzo’s current successor, posted a touching image of Kenzo on Instagram, accompanied by the words, «Rest in peace Master.»
Kenzo’s vibrant spirit, optimism, zest for life, and boundless generosity continue to serve as pillars of the Maison he founded. His impact on the world of fashion is immeasurable.
Fellow designers, including Jean Charles de Castelbajac, shared memories of Kenzo’s love for lively celebrations, reflecting his special attachment to the world of parties.
Richard Simonin, former Kenzo CEO, expressed deep gratitude for their enduring bond spanning three decades. He emphasized Kenzo’s ability to spread joy and foster profound mutual respect in their Creator-Manager relationship.
Jack Lang, former Minister of Culture, celebrated Kenzo’s multicultural and colorful universe, describing him as a «rainbow creator» who enchanted French fashion and the art of living for over half a century.
Kenzo Takada’s passing leaves a void in the fashion world, but his vibrant spirit, creativity, and love for life will continue to inspire generations to come.