The Japanese founder of the fashion brand Kenzo has died of Covid-19, according to a spokesperson for the firm quoted by French media.
Kenzo Takada died at the American Hospital in Paris at the age of 81, his statement said.
Known for his colorful graphic and floral prints, he was the first Japanese designer to make his mark on the Parisian fashion scene.
He moved to France in the 1960s and spent the rest of his career there.
With his “nearly 8,000 creations”, the Japanese designer “has never ceased to celebrate fashion and the art of living”, declared his spokesperson.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo paid tribute to him on Twitter: “A creator of immense talent, he gave color and light their place in fashion. Paris is now mourning one of her sons. ”
“I was a fan of the brand in the 1970s when it started. I think he was a great designer, ”said Sidney Toledano, CEO of luxury conglomerate LVMH, owner of the Kenzo brand.
Born in 1939 near Osaka, Kenzo Takada arrived in France in 1965 by boat and settled in Paris.
He founded the internationally renowned brand under his first name in the 1970s. He launched a men’s line in 1983, and later in the 1980s, the more casual sportswear lines Kenzo Jeans and Kenzo Jungle.
He sold his clothing brand to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1993 and retired from fashion six years later.