Kenzo Takada, first Japanese designer to conquer Paris fashion, dies aged 81

Japan’s most famous fashion designer Kenzo Takada, founder of the global Kenzo brand, died in Paris on Sunday aged 81 after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman said.

Takada, the first Japanese designer to decamp to Paris and known especially for his signature floral prints, died in the American Hospital of Paris, the spokesman said in a statement.

His death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in the French capital which he adopted as his home. “Every wall, every sky and every passer-by helps me build my collections,” he once said of the city.

He retired from fashion in 1999, six years after selling his eponymous fashion brand to luxury conglomerate LVMH, and dedicated his time to one-off projects, including a design collection at the start of this year.

– Dreamed of Paris –

Born in 1939 into a family of hoteliers, he chose to study art not catering,

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