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Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada, 81, dies in hospital in Paris after contracting coronavirus


The Japanese fashion designer who founded Kenzo died of coronavirus today in a hospital near Paris.

Kenzo Takada, 81, died in the American hospital in Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a spokesman for the fashion star confirmed.

The self-made Japanese and French designer is known around the world by his first name, Kenzo, which he shared with his fashion brand, which is known for colorful and eccentric designs.

His death comes just four days after the brand showed off its Spring / Summer 2021 collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Although Kenzo left the brand in 1999 for a "permanent vacation" in retirement, he continued to be involved in maintaining the brand seamless blend of traditional Japanese fashion and modern western style for which it is famous.

Kenzo Takada, 81, died today of coronavirus in a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris

Winnie Harlow walks down the runway with Kenzo

The Japanese-French designer is known worldwide by his first name Kenzo and his fashion brand is famous for its colorful and whimsical designs

The Japanese-French designer is known worldwide by his first name Kenzo and his fashion brand is famous for its colorful and whimsical designs

Kenzo quickly developed his love of fashion reading his sisters' magazines and first moved to Paris in 1965 at the age of 26 after being one of the first male students to study at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo.

He had only planned to stay in Paris for a few months before returning to Japan, but was overwhelmed by the idea of ​​creating a design vision.

Five years later, in the spring of 1970, Kenso used just $ 200 worth of fabric to create his first fashion collection. Later that year Elle magazine featured his clothing on the front page.

An 81-year-old spokesman for the fashion star confirmed the sad news, according to RT

Kenzo and Coco Rocha attended the Giambattista Valli Show last March

An 81-year-old spokesman for the fashion star confirmed the sad news, according to RT

Kenzo opened its Kenzo flagship store on Place des Victoires in October 1976. Pictured: A Kenzo catwalk at his 1986-1987 Fall / Winter show

Kenzo opened its Kenzo flagship store on Place des Victoires in October 1976. Pictured: A Kenzo catwalk at his 1986-1987 Fall / Winter show

As his fashion brand grew steadily as more and more people were exposed to it, Kenzo also dived into the perfume world. Pictured: Kenzo's Spring / Summer 2019 fashion show

As his fashion brand grew steadily, as more and more people were exposed to it, Kenzo also dived into the perfume world. Pictured: Kenzo's Spring / Summer 2019 fashion show

Kenzo releases butterflies during the birthday cake lights during the Kenzo Takada birthday party as part of Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall / Winter 2019/2020

Kenzo releases butterflies during the birthday cake lights during the Kenzo Takada birthday party as part of Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall / Winter 2019/2020

The Japanese fashion designer Kenzo welcomes the audience at the end of his ready-to-wear fashion in autumn / winter 1998/99

The Japanese fashion designer Kenzo welcomes the audience at the end of his ready-to-wear fashion in autumn / winter 1998/99

In 1983, two models wear an Haute Couture dress and a bullfighting uniform by the matador by Japanese fashion designer Kenzo

In 1983, two models wear an Haute Couture dress and a bullfighting uniform by the matador by Japanese fashion designer Kenzo

Kenzo opened its Kenzo flagship store on Place des Victoires in October 1976 and was awarded the Fashion Editor Club of Japan award.

He then made a name for himself by holding his fashion shows in circus tents between 1978 and 1979.

The talented designer, whose designs often included animal motifs, famously ended the shows by riding an elephant on the catwalk.

As his fashion brand grew steadily in 1988, Kenzo plunged into the perfume world, with fragrances that Vogue called some of the "most classic" French fragrances of all time.

Kenzo at his fall / winter 1991-1992 fashion show in Paris

Kenzo at his fall / winter 1991-1992 fashion show in Paris

Kenzo signs one of his paintings during the opening of an exhibition of his work at the art auction house Hampel in Munich in 2008

Kenzo signs one of his paintings during the opening of an exhibition of his work at the art auction house Hampel in Munich in 2008

Pictured: The Kenzo collection at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year

Pictured: The Kenzo collection at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year

Pictured: The Kenzo collection at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year

Since 1993, the Kenzo brand has belonged to the French luxury goods company LMVH, which also includes brands such as Fendi, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs.

He announced his retirement from fashion in 1999 to pursue a career in the arts. The designers Roy Krejberg and Gilles Rosier took over the design of Kenzos men's and women's clothing.

Kenzo had previously written about his "misery" after the 1990s, a decade in which he lost his life partner Xavier de Castella to an AIDS disease in 1990 and his "right-wing" model maker Atsuko Kondo to a stroke in 1991.

This was quickly followed by his mother's death in 1991, which he only found out about after her funeral when he chartered a boat on the island of Corsica – despite his older brother's efforts to contact him.

He wrote in Nikkei Asia: “I missed my own mother's death because I didn't want to play. I was unhappy. My heart was in ruins and I gave in to despair. & # 39;

Kenzo was awarded a Legion of Honor (the highest order of merit for military and / or civil service) in 2016. He then received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th Fashion Editors' Club of Japan Award in 2017.

Occasionally he ventured back into the fashion world, for example when he designed the costumes for Madame Butterfly in 2019.

In 2019, Takada discussed his departure from fashion design, telling CNN that he was still sketching, but no longer for luxury fashion.

“I still sketch, but not for fashion today. I like fashion, but in fashion you have to do something new every season: new shoots, new concepts, new materials, everything changes so quickly, ”he said. “So I stopped at the right time I think. Now I do costumes for the opera. & # 39;

He added: "Paris was definitely the capital of fashion for me and today there is still that certain elegance, French elegance, a French way of dressing," he told the outlet.

“A French way of working with fashion definitely influenced me and much later I started to integrate other cultures into this particular fashion. Of course, fashion is everywhere now; in New York, Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, everywhere. But I think Paris remains very important. & # 39;

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