Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada, famous for creating the world-renowned Kenzo brand, has died from complications linked to COVID-19 at the age of 81,
Known especially for his signature floral prints, Takada came to France from his native Japan in 1965 by boat, landing in Marseille before making his way to Paris.
He had planned only a short stay in the city, but Paris eventually became his home. Takada created his first collection for women in 1970, his first show for men in 1983 and his first perfume, Kenzo Kenzo, in 1988.
LVMH’s Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said in a statement that Kenzo had “infused into fashion a tone of poetic lightness and sweet freedom which inspired many designers after him”.
Ralph Toledano, chairman of France’s fashion federation, credited Takada with contributing to writing “a new page in fashion, at the confluence of the East and the West”.
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon were bidding a poignant farewell after nearly a decade as creative directors. The moving retrospective, which opened and closed the show, was choreographed by Léo Lerus. Some 5,000 guests attended, including members of the public, fashion students and Kenzo staff.
Fluttery strips of fabric, like little waves, lined the front and back of a navy dress, while halter tops with puff sleeves had a liquid sheen. One hoodie came with a toile de jouy like design and a big sailing ship, while sailor collars or fishing net panels adorned jackets.
This farewell should have come as no surprise to those familiar with Lim and Leon, whose shows have long included live bands, dance troupes and traditional Japanese theater, in a nod to the house’s founder, Kenzo Takada. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has so far been mum on its succession plan in order not to taint Leon and Lim’s final show.
But according to sources, Kenzo is zeroing in on a contract with Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who last year wrapped an eight-year tenure as creative director of Lacoste. Continue reading