Franco-Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada dies at 81 from COVID-19 complications

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      The world of high fashion has lost one of its leading lights who infused his work with a sense of ebullience. 

      Franco-Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada has died of complications from COVID-19 near Paris. He was 81 years old.

      Takada founded the fashion house Kenzo, which became an internationally renowned brand of clothing, perfume, and skincare products.

      Born in Himeji, Japan, in 1939, he pursued a career in fashion design and moved to Paris in 1964. He launched his brand with his first collection in 1970.

      His bold style, vibrant palette, and playful approach drew from international sources he gathered from his travels around the world. His designs ranged from a jungle aesthetic, inspired by paintings by Henri Rousseau, to a blending of Asian styles and techniques with various cultural influences.

      After selling his company to LMVH in 1993, he retired from fashion design in 1999 to pursue a career in art and other projects in design.