Kenzo Founder Kenzō Takada Has Died Due to COVID-19 Complications

Kenzō Takada, the Japanese designer responsible for creating iconic brand Kenzo, has passed away at the age of 81. Takada died following complications caused by COVID-19.

As reported by the BBC, a statement revealed that Takada passed away at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine. The designer had been based in France for most of his career. Per the BBC, “Born in 1939 near Osaka, Kenzō Takada arrived in France in 1965 by boat and settled in Paris.”

As noted by WWD, the Kenzo label was acquired by LVMH for $80.5 million in 1993. Despite leaving the brand in 1999, the designer continued to collaborate with Kenzo through the years, while also pursuing other artistic ventures.

Takada recently launched a luxury homeware and lifestyle brand called K三 (pronounced K3), of which he was the artistic director, in collaboration with Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, Engelbert Honorat, and Wanda Jelmini. According to the brand’s official website, “the French at heart Japanese designer, has conceptualized an extensive, yet meticulously curated collection, including chairs, sofas, tables, rugs, bed linens, home textiles and accessories, with the support of their team.”

The brand’s official Instagram account paid tribute to the designer. “It is with great sadness that we have learned that our dear friend Kenzo Takada passed away today,” the caption explained. “He was an inspiring and prodigious creator and we were proud to collaborate with him and his exceptional team. We will always remember his smile and joie de vivre.”

The accomplished designer was named the the honorary president of the Asian Couture Federation in 2013, and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor in Paris in 2016.

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