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Japanese Fashion Designer Kansai Yamamoto Dead After Battle With Leukemia

Kansai Yamamoto With Models Image CNN

Acclaimed Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto who is known for his Avant-Garde collections and huge career-defining collaboration with David Bowie has died at the age of 76 after a battle with leukemia. The fashion guru had A-list connections including David Bowie, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder.

In a statement released by his daughter Mirai on Instagram, she said:

In my eyes, my father was not only the electric and energetic soul that the world knew him as but someone who was also thoughtful, kind-hearted, and affectionate.

Further stating that he died surrounded by loved ones.


His company, Kansai Yamamoto Inc also released a statement to commemorate his memory also stating that he has been buried but a public farewell might be done at a later date. The statement read:

As he fought his illness, he remained always positive, never lost his passion towards creation, and was strongly determined to recover and come back with fully-charged energy to see you again. ‘Human energy is limitless’ was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept challenging no matter hard the situation.

Earlier in the year, the designer went public with his acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis.

Kansai made his mark on the fashion spheres as his work was presented in Tokyo, New York and Paris fashion weeks from 1974 until 1992. The A-list designer spoke about his experience of dressing Bowie as he hailed the star as “shockingly beautiful”.

Famously he designed a cape that had Japanese kanji characters on it for the musician.

Born in 1944, Yamamoto studied civil engineering before turning his attention to fashion. By the early 1970s, he had become the first Japanese designer to hold a show in London, an opportunity that earned him international acclaim for his theatrical creations.

It was during this time that he established friendships with some of the decade’s most important musicians, including Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

David Bowie In Kansai Yamamoto Design 1973

His growing profile in London also brought him to the attention of late singer David Bowie, with whom he formed a longstanding creative partnership.

Yamamoto produced high-profile events in locations around the world, from Moscow’s Red Square to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, where he held a series of live fashion shows in 2013.

The online streaming event he was working on at the time for his death, “Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy,” will go ahead as scheduled on July 31, his company said in a report by CNN.

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