Kenzo Takada: Beauty and fashion founder dies at 81 of Covid-19

The Japanese designer made his name in the fashion world in the 60s and introduced his debut perfume in 1988

Designer and beauty founder Kenzo Takada has died at 81 from Covid-19 in Paris.

Hailed as the first Japanese creative to establish himself in the French capital, Takada was famous for his global luxury fashion house and its subsequent beauty arm Kenzo.

After establishing himself in Paris as a designer in 1965, Kenzo launched his first scent in 1988 and has since introduced a range of flankers and inspired scents.

The company is now owned by the luxury French giant LVMH, which owns the licence to its fragrances and skin care products.



In a series of Tweets, Takado’s brand expressed its sadness at his passing.

The brand wrote: “An ode to our founder. 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.”

The following post came from Kenzo’s Art Director Felipe Oliveira Baptista. He said: “It is with great sadness that I have learned the passing away of Mr Kenzo Takada.

“His amazing energy, kindness and talent were contagious. His kindred spirit will live forever. Rest in peace master.”

Tributes pour in

Since the news hit yesterday, floods of tributes to the designer have poured in.

Paris’ Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, wrote on Twitter: “Paris is now mourning one of her sons.”

Swedish fashion house H&M added: “The world lost a fashion icon yesterday. Kenzo Takada, the founder of Kenzo brand, has passed away at age 81.

“We will always remember his beautiful creations and everything he gave the fashion world.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times’ Fashion Director, Vanessa Friedman, wrote: “At a time when everything can seem very dark, it’s worth remembering the legacy of Kenzo Takada, the great designer who died today of Covid, and who believed in joy: ‘Fashion is not for the few – it is for all the people. It should not be too serious’.”

Takada was also the acting honorary President of the Asian Couture Federation at the time of his passing.

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