Fashion designer Kenzo Takada dies after catching Covid-19 aged 81

The Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada has died in Paris after contracting Covid-19, a spokesperson has announced. He was 81.

Kenzo Takada wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

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Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

Takada, known best by his first name, was the first designer from Japan to break into the city’s exclusive fashion milieu in the 1970s.

His prêt-à-porter designs with their trademark profusion of bright colours, flowers and jungle prints were a far cry from the traditional Parisian mode of the time, when chic salon presentations were largely prim and proper affairs.

Kenzo, who died at the American hospital on Sunday, was famous not only for his clothes, but went on to create a global brand of perfume and skin products. At the time of his death he was acting honorary president of the Asian Couture Federation.

Born in February 1939, at Himeji near Osaka, his parents ran a hotel. He was

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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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