Japanese-French fashion designer Kenzo Takada, founder of Kenzo, sadly died yesterday of Covid-19 aged 81. He founded Kenzo, a worldwide fashion house, skincare and perfume brand. Known for his bright graphics, jungle inspired prints and eclectic use of colour, he was the first Japanese designer to gain prominence on the Paris fashion scene.
He settled in France in the 1960s and spent the rest of his career there. With nearly 8,000 designs under his belt, the Japanese designer never stopped celebrating fashion and the art of living.
Born in 1939 in Himeji, near the city of Osaka, Kenzo Takada decided to make his way by boat to Paris in 1965, despite hardly speaking any French. At first he sold sketches to fashion houses but later decided to strike it out on his own, with a small store called Jungle Jap. His clothes were heavily influenced by Japanese design. Takada said he didn’t want to do what French designers were doing. His native Japan remained the source of inspiration for every collection he created.