Designer Kenzo Takada Dies of COVID-19 at 81

Designer Kenzo Takada Dies of COVID-19 at 81

Kenzo Takada, the founder of iconic luxury brand Kenzo, has died at 81 years old.

The Francs-based Japanese designer died of COVID-19 at the American Hospital in Paris on Sunday. "For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry - always infusing creativity and color into the world," the fashion house posted in their ode to Takada. "Today, his optimism, zest for life and generosity continue to be pillars of our Maison. He will be greatly missed and always remembered."

Kenzo Takada was the first Japanese designer to make a name for himself, and make it big, in Paris. His love for color, unique graphics and floral prints is what made him such a hit ever since he started his company in the 1970s. A spokesman told the BBC that with his "nearly 8,000 designs," he "never stopped celebrating fashion and the art of living."

In 1993, Takada sold the company to LVMH, and retired six years later. These days, Felipe Oliveira Baptista fills the role of creative director.

Baptista, who is mourning the loss of his predecessor and mentor, wrote, "His amazing energy, kindness, talent and smile were contagious. His kindred spirit will live forever. Rest in peace Master."

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