Kenzo (高田賢三) is a Japanese fashion designer and founder of Kenzo. Kenzo is well known as a world wide producer of skin care product, clothing, and perfumes.
Born on February 27, 1939 in Himeji, Japan, Kenzo Takada developed an early love for fashion while reading his sisters’ magazines. He attended the University of Kobe where he eventually dropped out and joined Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College right after it opened its doors to men in 1958. Following graduation he moved to Paris in 1964 and tried to find a place for himself in the crowded European fashion industry. His earliest designs were based less on artistic expression than on a lack of materials and monetary resources to purchase what he needed, as he was forced to buy scraps from flea markets to make his clothing.
Kenzo first found success in 1970 when he first presented a show of his clothing at the Vivienne Gallery. He opened his first store later that year and managed to get one of his models on the cover of ELLE. He had a collection presented in both Tokyo and New York in 1971 and he won the Fashion Editor Club of Japan prize in 1972. Kenzo added to his collection with a men’s line in 1983 and in 1988 launched his first fragrance line with Kenzo de Kenzo, parfum d’ete. The first men’s perfume line was launched later in 1991 with Kenzo pour Homme. In 1993, the Kenzo brand was purchased by LVMH and Kenzo himself retired in 1999, leaving his assistants in charge of his brands.