When he arrived in Paris from Japan in 1964, Kenzo Takada was a young designer with a fashion degree (having been the first male-student of the formerly all-female Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo), little money and no connections. Nevertheless, six years leater he opened the Jungle Jap boutique, selling his innovative collections made up of kimono-style dresses in clashing colors and lush prints, bringing a new flavor of exoticism and fun on the Paris fashion scene. Even his catwalks – in 1979 the show was staged in a circs tent, with Kenzo himself riding an elephant – introduced the idea of a free, playful and multicultural fashion. He retired in 1999.

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