Kenzo Takada was the primary Japanese designer to gain popularity in the fashion industry of Paris, France. His remarkable works were elegant and distinctive, featuring his eminent and vivid prints, unique themes, and flowery designs, giving Europe a new perspective and touch in the field of fashion.
He was born in Osaka, Japan, in February 1939. Being introduced to his sister’s magazines and sewing lessons, Takada found his love of fashion early. He then went to Tokyo and furthered his education at the Bunka Fashion College. Afterwards, he had an opportunity to design women’s clothes for a department store. His fashion inspiration was Yves Saint Laurent; by 1965, he went to Marseille, France and settled in Paris with his partner Xavier de Castella.
In 1970, he launched his brand Kenzo which was initially named Jungle Jap, and a boutique located in Galerie Viviene. He also received international recognition in that same year. In 1983 he added more into his collections, such as Kenzo Jeans and Kenzo Jungle, fragrances and eyewear.
In 1990, after Xavier de Castella died and his business partner underwent a stroke, he sold the fashion house to LVMH. Then by 1999, Takada retired from fashion life and focused on his additional artistic efforts.
He created a unique and distinctive mix-and-match design that crossed borders, colors and cultures, which influenced a generation. According to the director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Olivier Gabet, “Kenzo Takada was a very special figure in the Parisian fashion world…So many people who disliked or hated each other very often did agree on the fact they loved him.”
Unfortunately, In October 2020, tributes have poured in from all across the world for Kenzo Takada, who died in Paris after catching Covid-19.