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Datum objave: 05.10.2020

French-Japanese designer Kenzo Takada dies from COVID-19

Takada’s love of travel and use of ethnic influences were strong features in his three decades atop his house.

French-Japanese designer Kenzo Takada dies from COVID-19

By THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Fashion Writer

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 24, 2009 file photo, Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada poses outside his Paris house. Fashion designer Kenzo Takada dies from COVID-19 complications at age 81 near Paris, spokeswoman and reports said Sunday Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, file)

FILE - In this Saturday Oct. 7, 2006 file photo, models take the runway at the end of the presentation of the Spring-Summer 2007 ready to wear collection by by Italian fashion designer Antonio Marras for Kenzo, in Paris. Fashion designer Kenzo Takada dies from COVID-19 complications at age 81 near Paris, spokeswoman and reports said Sunday Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, file)

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 1977 file photo, designer Kenzo Takada kisses the hand of Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida after she awarded him as one of the ten most elegant men in the world in Rome, Italy. Fashion designer Kenzo Takada dies from COVID-19 complications at age 81 near Paris, spokeswoman and reports said Sunday Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo, file)

PARIS (AP) — Kenzo Takada, the iconic French-Japanese fashion designer famed for his jungle-infused designs and free-spirited aesthetic that channeled global travel, has died. He was 81.

The family said in a statement to French media Sunday that Takada died from complications from COVID-19 in a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris. A public relations officer for Kenzo's brand confirmed that Takada died, but didn't give a cause of death.

“It is with immense sadness that KENZO has learned of the passing of our founder,” the fashion house said in a statement. "For half a century, Mr. Takada has been an emblematic personality in the fashion industry — always infusing creativity and color into the world.”

Takada's death came at the tail end of Paris Fashion Week, whose nine-day calendar is undertaking an unusual fashion season for spring-summer 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was only days ago that the Kenzo fashion house unveiled its bee-themed collection here.

Though Takada had been retired from his house since 1999 to pursue a career in art, Kenzo remains one of the most respected fixtures of high Paris fashion. Since 1993, the Kenzo brand has been owned by the French luxury goods company LVMH.

"His amazing energy, kindness, talent and smile were contagious," said Kenzo artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who unveiled the bee-themed collection to fashion editors Wednesday. “His kindred spirit will live forever.”

Kenzo's styles used bold color, clashing prints and were inspired by travels all over the world.

“Kenzo Takada has, from the 1970s, infused into fashion a tone of poetic lightness and sweet freedom which inspired many designers after him," said Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH.

Takada was born on Feb. 27, 1939, in Himeji, in the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan to hoteliers, but after reading his sisters’ fashion magazines his love of fashion began.

Studying at the Bunka College of Fashion in Tokyo, Kenzo Takada had a brief stint working in Japan, before relocating to Paris in 1965, to work as a freelance designer.

In Paris, he took over a boutique in 1970 and crystallized his future ready-to-wear aesthetic inspired in its decoration by the jungle scenes of painter Henri Rousseau, which he merged with Asian styles. It became influential.

But it was lowly beginnings: Takada’s first collection at the store called was made entirely out of cotton because he had little money. But the clothes spoke for themselves and a model of his was put on the cover of Elle magazine. A short time after, pioneering shoulder forms, large armholes, dungarees, smock tent dresses, innovative shoulder shapes, and his store was featured in US Vogue. Kenzo showed collections in New York and Tokyo in 1971.

Yves Saint Laurent was an important inspiration, in his work, Takada has said. Takada shared Saint Laurent’s penchant for theatrics. in 1978 and 1979, he showed in a circus tent, and it featured himself riding an elephant, and performers rode horses wearing see-through uniforms.

Takada’s love of travel and use of ethnic influences were strong features in his three decades atop his house.

His contribution to style was significant. He championed a youthful aesthetic and unstructured form, and did away with zippers to liberate silhouettes. His signatures were of wider sleeves and arm holes, that harked to historic styles in his home continent of Asia

Kenzō Takada

Kenzō Takada (高田 賢三, Takada Kenzō, 27 February 1939 – 4 October 2020) was a Japanese-French fashion designer. He founded Kenzo, a worldwide brand of perfumes, skincare products, and clothes, and was the acting honorary president of the Asian Couture Federation.

Takada was in a relationship with Xavier de Castella, who died in 1990 from an AIDS-related illness. De Castella helped design Takada's 14,000-sq-ft Japanese-style house, which started construction in 1987 and was completed in 1993.

Takada died on 4 October 2020 from complications of COVID-19 while hospitalized at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He was 81 years old

Takada was born on 27 February 1939 in Himeji, Hyōgo Prefecture, to parents who ran a hotel. His love for fashion developed at an early age, particularly through reading his sisters' magazines. He briefly attended Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, but after his father died during Takada's first year at university, he withdrew from the program against his family's wishes. In 1958, he enrolled at Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College, which had then just opened its doors to male students. During his time at Bunka, Takada won a fashion design competition, the Soen Award, in 1961.At this time, Takada gained experience working in the Sanai department store, where he designed up to 40 outfits a month as a girl's clothing designer.

Takada was inspired by Paris, especially designer Yves Saint Laurent. His interest in Paris was further fostered by his teacher at Bunka, Chie Koike, who was educated at L'École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. In preparation for the 1964 Summer Olympics, the government demolished Takada's apartment in 1964, providing him with some monetary compensation. Under the advice of his mentor, and using his compensation money, Takada went on a month-long trip by boat to Paris, stopping along the way at various cities like Hong Kong, Saigon, Mumbai, and Marseille. He ultimately arrived at the Gare de Lyon train station on 1 January 1965.Takada's first impression of Paris was that it was "dismal and bleak", but began to warm to the city when his taxi took him past the Notre Dame de Paris, which he described as "magnificent".

Bottle of the fragrance Flower by Kenzo Takada initially struggled in Paris, selling sketches of designs to fashion houses for 25 Feach. He had intended to leave Paris for Japan after a few months, but vowed not to do so until he had created something there, as he was determined to open a boutique fashion house in an area where his peers had not opened one. During this time, Takada worked as a stylist at a textile manufacturer named Pisanti.
In 1970, while at a flea market, Takada met a woman who wanted to rent out a small space in the Galerie Vivienne to him cheaply. Takada accepted the offer, and opened up shop as a designer. With very little money to work with, he mixed and matched $200 in fabrics from the Saint Pierre market in Montmartre, creating an eclectic and bold first fashion collection. Takada presented the collection at his first fashion show at the Galerie Vivienne. With no money to afford professional fashion models for the event, Takada and his friends opted to paint the pimples of an acne-covered model green.

Inspired by painter Henri Rousseau, and in particular The Dream, Takada painted the interior of his shop with a jungle-like floral aesthetic. Wanting to combine the jungle aesthetic with his homeland, the designer decided to name his first store "Jungle Jap". The store's name did not go without controversy: in 1971, the Japanese American Citizens League issued a summons to Takada while on his first visit to the United States, challenging him to remove the word "Jap" from his business's name. However, the State supreme court upheld the ability to use the term as part of a trademark the following year.Takada and his team opted to rename the brand once Takada returned to France.
Takada's efforts paid off quickly – in June 1970, Elle featured one of his designs on its cover. He moved locations from the Galerie Vivienne to the Passage Choiseul in 1970. Takada's collection was presented in New York City and Tokyo in 1971. The next year, he won the Fashion Editor Club of Japan's prize. In October 1976, Takada opened his flagship store, Kenzo, in the Place des Victoires. Takada proved his sense of dramatic appearance when, in 1978 and 1979, he held his shows in a circus tent, finishing with horsewomen performers wearing transparent uniforms and he himself riding an elephant. Takada even had the chance to direct a film called Yume, yume no ato, which was released in 1981.

Kenzo fashion house in Paris

Takada's first men's collection was launched in 1983. In August 1984, The Limited Stores announced that they had signed Takada to design a less-expensive clothing line called Album by Kenzo. A children's line called Kenzo Jungle, as well as men's and women's jeans, was released in 1986.

Takada also made ventures into the perfume business. He first experimented with perfumes by releasing King Kong in 1980, which he created "just for fun". In 1988, his women's perfume line began with Kenzo de Kenzo (now known as Ça Sent Beau), Parfum d'été, Le monde est beau, and L'eau par Kenzo. Kenzo pour Homme was his first men's perfume (1991).  FlowerbyKenzo, launched in 2000, was listed by Vogue's website as one of the best classic French perfumes of all time. In 2001, a skincare line, KenzoKI was also launched.

Since 1993 the brand Kenzo is owned by the French luxury goods company LVMH. In 2016, he created a perfume for Avon.
Retirement from and subsequent activity in the fashion industry
Takada in June 2008
Takada announced his retirement in 1999 to pursue a career in art, leaving Roy Krejberg and Gilles Rosier to handle the design of Kenzo's men's and women's clothing, respectively. However, in 2005 he reappeared as a decoration designer presenting Gokan Kobo (五感工房 "workshop of the five senses"), a brand of tableware, home objects, and furniture. After a few years off, he wanted to take a new direction, stating "when I stopped working five years ago, I went on vacation, I rested, I traveled. And when I decided to work again, I told myself it would be in decoration, more than fashion." Additionally, in 2013 Kenzo joined the Asian Couture Federation as the organisation's inaugural Honorary President. In 2010 Kenzo's paintings were the subject of a one man exhibition in Paris ttitled "" Un Certain Style de Vie", A Certain Way of Life".
Takada was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour on 2 June 2016. He was further honored by a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th Fashion Editors' Club of Japan Awards in 2017. That same year, Takada unveiled a new collection with Roche Bobois, giving its Mah Jong sofa new upholstery and creating a line of ceramics. Following his departure from the fashion industry, Takada occasionally ventured back into fashion. In 2019 he designed costumes for a production of Madama Butterfly by the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation. He also used his eye for design in other ways, collaborating with the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira in Dubai to design the hotel's first publicly-displayed Christmas tree during the 2019 holiday season.

In January 2020, Takada announced that he would be launching a new lifestyle brand named K3. The brand made its first appearance on 17 January 2020 at the Maison et Objet trade show, as well as in a Parisian showroom.

Kenzo fashion house in Paris


Kenzo Takada Funeral

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