S.Korea's fashion icon dies at 75

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Indy Lifestyle Online

South Korean fashion designer Andre Kim has died at the age of 75, his son said Friday.

The popular designer passed away late Thursday at the Seoul National University hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia, his son Kim Joong-Do told journalists.

Doctors were also treating him with an anti-cancer chemical after an operation for colon cancer in 2005, Kim said.

Billed as the country's fashion ambassador, Kim's shows were a fixture at key events in the region such as the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 and in Beijing in 2008.

A towering figure on the country's fashion scene, he also enjoyed wide popularity among the general public, with his eccentricities and drawn-out style of speech providing material for comedians.

He wore all-white outfits and put on layers of thick makeup, complete with black mascara caked over his hairless scalp.

Born to a farming family in 1935 in Seoul's northern suburbs, Kim burst onto the fashion scene in 1962 as the country's first male designer, at a time when fashion was still considered a women's job in South Korea.

Kim was presented with South Korea's Presidential Culture and Art Medal in 1977, the first of its kind for a designer.

Unmarried, Kim is survived by the son he adopted in 1982.

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