Acclaimed Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto dies at 76
Tokyo, Jul 27 (efe-epa).- Acclaimed Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto, known for his collaborations with late British singer David Bowie, has died at the age of 76, his actress daughter Mirai Yamamoto said Monday.
“On July 21st, my father, Kansai Yamamoto, passed away at the age of 76,” Yamamoto announced in an Instagram post. “He left this world peacefully, surrounded by loved ones.”
Yamamoto was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in February.
He was born in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, in 1944, but was raised in the city of Gifu, in the center-west of the country.
He studied civil engineering and English at Nihon University in the capital before assisting renowned designers such as Junko Koshino.
In 1971, at 27, he became the first Japanese to hold a fashion show in London, and in 1975 he debuted in Paris.
Yamamoto’s international fame grew after he befriended Bowie, for whom he designed some of his most iconic outfits for the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane tours in the 1970s, works that brought him great popularity.
He also dressed other artists such as Elton John and Stevie Wonder.
Yamamoto’s designs were characterized by a mix of traditional elements, highly influenced by the Japanese kabuki theater, and a markedly eccentric and avant-garde character.
In 1993, as a consolidated designer, he embarked on multidisciplinary creations. That year he organized the first of his “Super Shows,” in Moscow’s Red Square, which he also held in Vietnam (1995), India (1997) and Japan (2000).
In 2015 he produced an event that encompassed everything he had built throughout his career, the “Japan Genki Project: Super Energy!” which he held multiple times in subsequent years.
Yamamoto also designed the Skyliner train that has been running since 2010 and connects Narita Airport with the center of Tokyo.
He worked up until he was diagnosed and hospitalized with acute myeloid leukemia in February.
“In my eyes, my father was not only the eclectic and energetic soul that the world knew him as, but someone who was also thoughtful, kind-hearted, and affectionate,” his daughter said in her message.
“He valued communication and showered me with love throughout my entire life… He viewed challenges as opportunities for self-development and always believed in brighter days ahead.”
Yamamoto also thanked everyone who had “touched” her father’s life: “Without you, his legacy would not exist.” EFE-EPA