Kenzo Takada

October 06, 2020

"He was supposed to be in Paris only for two years but spent the rest of his life there. He took Paris by storm," - Ms Henestrosa.

Kenzo was known for his bright graphics, jungle inspired prints and dramatic use of colour. Kenzo was the first Japanese designer to gain importance on the Paris fashion scene.

Born in 1939 in Himeji, near the city of Osaka, Kenzo made the decision to travel to Paris by boat in 1965 although he didn't speak much French. To kick start his career, he he sold sketches to fashion houses but soon after decided to create his own brand, with a small store called Jungle Jap. His clothes were influenced by Japanese designs and Kenzo stated he didn't want to "do what French designers were doing".

Just when the brand reached pinnacle success in the 1990s, Takada then sold it to LVMH. Kenzo stayed at the brand for 9 years until he retired and went on to make costumes for the opera and he also continued painting.

The fashion critic Suzy Menkes wrote “I remember him telling me that he wanted to make ‘happy’ clothes” “That meant colourful, with a freedom for the woman’s body – and an international attitude way before his time.”

Kenzo Takada will forever be remembered for his bright, inspiring and creative mind. His brand will remain vibrant and happy. Rest in peace Kenzo.