Fashion / Style

Kenzo Takada has passed away at the age of 81

World renowned Japanese designer Kenzo Takada, best known for creating his namesake label Kenzo, has passed away at the age of 81 at the American Hospital, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France due to complications related to COVID-19.

In an announcement revealed via Instagram, the house of Kenzo stated, “It is with immense sadness that KENZO has learned of the passing of our founder, Kenzo Takada. For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry - always infusing creativity and colour into the world. 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 born into a family of 7 in 1939 in the Japanese town of Himeji. Passionate about the arts and drawing at an early age, Takada always regarded Paris as the fashion capital of the world. After setting foot there in 1965, Takada never left and called Paris home for the rest of his life.

Launching Kenzo in 1970 (originally known as Jungle Jap), Takada was the first Japanese designer to establish himself in the fashion capital of Paris. Finding fame and popularity in the 70s, Takada’s work became known for infusing incredible colours, animals, florals and geometric patterns that became synonymous with his signature style.


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Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, CEO of K-3 stated in a press release, “Kenzo Takada was incredibly creative; with a stroke of genius, he imagined a new artistic and colourful story combining East and West – his native Japan and his life in Paris. I had the chance to work alongside him for many years, always in awe, admiring his curiosity and his open-mindedness. He seemed quiet and shy at first, but he was full of humour. He was generous and always knew how to look after the people close to his heart. He had a zest for life… Kenzo Takada was the epitome of the art of living.”

A lover of all things beauty, Kenzo Takada was passionate about interiors and furnishing too. In January 2020, Takada launched K-3, a luxury brand dedicated to the art of living with a bold and effortless blend between Western lifestyle and Eastern rituals.

Engelbert Honorat, Kenzo’s closest creative collaborator and creative assistant since 2013, has since been entrusted with creative direction of K-3 moving forward.

The preservation and legacy of this incredible design talent lives on, with a joie de vivre to admire and live by.


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Image credits: @kenzo and @kenzo.