Famed Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada has died at the age of 82 due to complications from the coronavirus.
For most people, Kenzo has always been and will always be associated with the fashion brand he founded. And indeed, from the moment of creation to this day, the history of the trademark Kenzo was inextricably linked with the biography of its founder. And he lived a long and interesting, eventful life.
Kenzo Takada was born in the small Japanese city of Himeji in the difficult year of 1939, he was the fifth son in the family. His father owned a tea house and was not a particularly wealthy person. Parents did not want, and could not give their son a really good education. And Takada, who realized as a boy that he wanted to be a fashion designer, was forced to study and work at the same time. Getting literally pennies, he managed to enter the prestigious Bunka Gakuen College in 1958, which is considered one of the best educational institutions in the country related to the fashion world. This institution was intended for women; in conservative Japan, fashion was not considered a prestigious occupation for men. But this did not stop Takada and he became one of the first young men who still managed to get into college.
The young designer had enough perseverance and courage to constantly go towards his dream. After graduating from college, he worked for some time in small jobs in Tokyo. And then he was lucky - in 1965, the area in which he lived was subject to demolition, all residents received compensation for the purchase of new housing in other parts of the city. But Takada spent all the money to move to the other side of the world - to Paris. He had obviously been dreaming about this for a long time, and he probably already spoke French at least a little.
At the new place, Takada at first was engaged in selling sketches to various fashion houses. Zeal he was not to occupy, and his bright talent quickly attracted attention. The young designer did not follow the beaten path, but actively developed his own style, the unusualness of which was liked by the spoiled Parisian public. In addition, in those years, interest in Japanese culture gradually increased.
The designer begins to hold his own shows. And in 1970, a significant event happened - the famous fashion magazine Elle published on the cover of a girl dressed in a Kenzo dress. After that, the life of the young designer changed, we can say, no matter how trite this phrase may sound, that one morning he woke up famous. His shows were no longer limited to Paris, they began to take place in New York and Tokyo. And everywhere - extremely successful.
In the same 1976, the Kenzo brand appears. Initially, the designer used the Jungle Jap brand, but in the end he considered that such a name was not very successful. To promote the new brand, the founder used a variety of, sometimes even extravagant methods, fashion shows sometimes turned into real circus performances. Gradually, the range of created things also expanded, in 1983, clothing for men was also added to it. And in 1987, the first perfumery Kenzo de Kenzo appeared.
Since 1993, the Kenzo brand has been owned by the French conglomerate LVMH. Kenzo decided to leave brand management and focus entirely on design. For several decades he created unique things. In 1999 he presented the last collection for Kenzo. Subsequently, the designer created several more brands, such as Gokan Kobo and Yume, and also collaborated with many well-known companies. His creations continued to have a notable impact on the fashion world.
The last years of his life Kenzo lived and worked in France. He died in the commune of Neuilly-sur-Seine, located in the suburbs of Paris. The designer has already exchanged his 8th decade and, perhaps, would have lived a long time if it were not for the complications provoked by the coronavirus.