Kenzo Takada, a Japanese fashion designer, dies from Covid-19

Kenzo Takada, a Japanese fashion designer best known as Kenzo, who founded his label in Paris in the 1970s, died on Sunday, the brand that still bears his name said.

Aged 81, Takada died at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburban suburb on the western outskirts of the city, due to complications related to Covid-19, his spokesman told French media.

Also known for its perfumes and skincare lines, the brand Kenzo was sold to LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company, in the early 1990s and has had many other creative directors since then.

It was known for its colorful motifs and original silhouettes under Kenzo Takada, which combined Japanese inspirations, such as the kimono, with other cuts.

“Mr Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry for half a century, always infusing imagination and color into the world,” the Kenzo brand said in an Instagram tweet.

Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, released a statement saying Kenzo had “infused a tone of poetic lightness and sweet liberation into fashion that inspired many designers after him.”

In the mid-1960s, Takada moved to Paris, beginning with a small store before soon achieving star status, and stayed in his adopted place. In a flourishing era of Parisian fashion, his contemporaries included Jean Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent.

“Today, Paris mourns one of its sons,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Twitter.