Kenzo Takada – Japanese design legend dies at 81

Today, one of my favorite- and Japan’s most famous fashion designer Kenzo Takada, the founder of the global Kenzo brand, died in Paris on after contracting Covid-19. He was the first Japanese designer to gain prominence in the highly-competitive Paris fashion scene. He was known especially for his signature floral prints, and its super eerie to think I showcased one of them just a week ago.

Kenzo Takada collaborated with MASUNAGA, a leading Japanese eyewear manufacture. MASUNAGA designed by Kenzo Takada sunglasses and optical frames combines vintage inspired elements with fashion-forward contemporary design. These collab frames featured delicate engraving on the bridge and the bar and temples are reminiscent of 1920’s jewelry details. Their original rim is designed with the star motif from MASUNAGA GMS and Kenzo Takada’s family emblem Campanule flower.

MASUNAGA designed by Kenzo Takada “Campanule K18” won the Silmo d’Or 2014 for the Sunglass category. The model Campanule consists of titanium, acetate and 18 karat gold. The temples are fashioned from MASUNAGA’s highly skilled welding technology using pure titanium and solid 18 karat gold.

Kenzo Takada with Andy Warhol

His death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in Paris.

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.

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 French capital, but Paris eventually became his home. He created his first collection for women in 1970, his first show for men in 1983, and his first perfume, Kenzo Kenzo, in 1988. Takada was known especially for his signature floral prints.

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