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Kenzo Takada, iconic Japanese designer, dead at 81 of COVID-19 complications

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Kenzo Takada, the Japanese fashion designer who founded the brand Kenzo, died Sunday in Paris from COVID-19 complications. He was 81 years old.

“It is with immense sadness that the brand K-3 announces the loss of its celebrated artistic director, Kenzo Takada,” a spokesperson for K-3 told CNN in a statement. “The world-renowned designer passed away on October 4th, 2020 due to Covid-19 related complications at the age of 81 at the American Hospital, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.”

On Sunday, Kenzo’s official Instagram account also confirmed the news, posting a tribute to its founder.

“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,” the post read.

Kenzo’s creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, also memorialized Takada on Instagram.

“FAREWELL MASTER,” he began. “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.”

Takada founded Kenzo the luxury label Kenzo in 1970. He announced his retirement in 1999.

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