Remembering Kenzo Takada
Over the weekend, fashion lovers, models and fellow designers took to social media to pay tribute to Kenzo Takada, who sadly passed away at the age of 81. The self-titled brand KENZO was known for its use of jungle inspired prints, vibrant colours and voluminous shapes, becoming signature elements to the collections, even after he retired from the company in 1999.
Takada was the first Japanese designer to discover success in Paris and drew international attention after being featured on the cover of ELLE magazine in 1970. He single-handedly put Japanese fashion on the mainstream map and has paved the way for many other Asian designers today. The current creative director of the brand, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, posted this on Kenzo's Instagram yesterday: 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 color into the world. Today, his optimism, zest for life and generosity continue to be pillars of our Maison. He will be greatly missed and always remembered. “It is with great sadness that I have learned the passing away of Mr Kenzo Takada. His amazing energy, kindness, talent and smile were contagious. His kindred spirit will live forever."
The fashion world will remember him as the designer with the most 'kindness, energy and talent', someone who designed for ahead of its time and never conformed to the stereotypical ideas of femininity and masculinity. He looked to his native country of Japan for constant inspiration and led a successful brand for many years before passing it over to LVMH in 1993. Fashion critic Suzy Menkes recently shared, 'I remember him telling me that he wanted to make happy clothes. That meant colourful, with a freedom for the woman's body, which was an international attitude way before it's time.' KENZO was also loved by our head buyer Helene, "We stocked KENZO for many years and it was always such a fun, colourful, creative brand much like its adored creator." We will never forget the popularity of the iconic Tiger print sweatshirt photographed on the streets of Fashion Weeks and the unique sense of humour shown in every collection. Rest in peace, Kenzo Takada.