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Kenzō Takada dies aged 81 after contracting coronavirus: tributes pour in for fashion icon

Jean Paul Gaultier and Naomi Campbell are among those who've paid tribute to the Japanese designer and Kenzo founder.

2020-10-05

Kenzō Takada, the founder of fashion brand Kenzo, has died at the age of 81 from complications due to coronavirus.

News of the fashion icon's death was confirmed on the official Instagram page for Takada’s brand K-3 yesterday.

A statement reads: “It is with great sadness that we have learned that our dear friend Kenzo Takada passed away today.

“He was an inspiring and prodigious creator and we were proud to collaborate with him. We will always remember his smile and joie de vivre.

“The fashion/design world and all of us are mourning him tonight and extend our sincere condolences to his loved ones.”


In a statement to CNN, a K-3 rep further clarified: "It is with immense sadness that the brand K-3 announces the loss of its celebrated artistic director, Kenzo Takada. 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."

The fashion icon was born in Himeji, Japan and settled in Paris in the 1960s.

Responding to the news, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter: "Designer of immense talent, he had given colour and light their place in fashion. Paris is now mourning one of its sons."

 
 
 
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@kenzo @kenzotakada_official So sad to hear of your loss today .. will always remember your smile and humble demeanor.. and positivity you shined on us all . Rest with the angels ♥️🙏🏾🕊

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Supermodel Naomi Campbell meanwhile said on Instagram: "@kenzo @kenzotakada_official So sad to hear of your loss today .. will always remember your smile and humble demeanor.. and positivity you shined on us all . Rest with the angels."

Fellow fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier added: "Kenzo Takada has infused a new vision to its industry: a blend of the Oriental and Occidental cultures, promoting freedom and joy, in tune with the era! His innovative shows were a real celebration and with him, the cover girls started taking over the podiums ! A deep respect…" 

Renowed fashion critic Suzy Menkes added: "How sad to lose to Covid the designer who smiled so much and founded the roots of Japanese design in Paris fashion."

 

 
 
 
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Dear Kenzo - how sad to lose to Covid the designer who smiled so much and founded the roots of Japanese design in Paris fashion. Although Kenzo Takada - or “jungle Jap” as he called himself - had left his brand in 1999 - six years after it had been bought by LVMH - he remained an emblem of international style. I remember him talking earnestly with my husband about playing poker; and telling me that he wanted to make “happy” clothes. That meant colourful, with a freedom for the woman’s body - and an international attitude way before his time. His collections captured an energy where shape and colour became together joyously. He slipped away in hospital in Paris, which he loved. May he rest in peace.

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