De­signer known for cre­at­ing Ziggy Star­dust look for Bowie

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - BY MARI YAMAGUCHI

TOKYO — Ja­panese fash­ion de­signer Kansai Yamamoto, known for his avant-garde and col­or­ful work that in­cluded flam­boy­ant cos­tumes of the late rock icon David Bowie, has died of leukemia, his com­pany said Mon­day. He was 76.

Mr. Yamamoto de­vel­oped leukemia in Fe­bru­ary and was de­ter­mined to re­cover and come back with re­newed en­ergy, said the com­pany, Kansai Yamamoto. He died July 21.

Born in 1944 in Yoko­hama, near Tokyo, Mr. Yamamoto de­buted in 1971, be­com­ing the first Ja­panese fash­ion de­signer to hold a show in Lon­don. He be­came in­terna- tion­ally known for blend­ing tra­di­tional Ja­panese mo­tifs with bril­liant col­ors and bold de­signs.

Mr. Yamamoto de­signed the cos­tume for Bowie’s Ziggy Star­dust al­ter ego, and also de­vel­oped friend­ships with top artists in­clud­ing El­ton John and Ste­vie Won­der, his com­pany said.

He con­trib­uted to col­lec­tions in Tokyo, New York and Paris for nearly two decades un­til 1992 and pro­duced the “Kansai Su­per Show” and “Nip­pon Genki Project.”

Mr. Yamamoto, who sought a ca­reer in en­gi­neer­ing be­fore turn­ing to fash­ion, also demon­strated his tal­ent in de­sign­ing venues and or­ga­niz­ing so­cial events for the 2008 G-8 sum­mit in Toy­ako in north­ern Ja­pan. He also won awards for his in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­sign of the Kei­sei Sky­liner train con­nect­ing Tokyo and Narita In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

“‘Hu­man en­ergy is lim­it­less’ was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept chal­leng­ing no mat­ter how hard the sit­u­a­tion,” his com­pany said in a state­ment.

Kansai Yamamoto

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