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(LEAD) Fashion designer Andre Kim dies at 75

All Headlines 21:22 August 12, 2010

(ATTN: ADDS details from para 2)

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's iconic fashion designer Andre Kim died Thursday after being treated for pneumonia at an intensive care unit at a Seoul hospital. He was 75.

Kim's health deteriorated recently after he was admitted to Seoul National University Hospital late last month, according to his close aides. He died at around 7:25 p.m., they said.

Born to a farming family in 1935, Kim debuted by holding his first fashion show in 1962 before opening "Salon Andre" in central Seoul. He became a leader in the Korean fashion industry as the first male designer and the first Korean to hold a fashion show in Paris in 1966.

Known for his distinctive blend of classical designs with futuristic elements, Kim's evening wear and wedding dress shows were held in noted places worldwide, including Angkor Wat in Cambodia in 2006 and Qingdao in 2007.

Not confined to the fashion community, Kim also enjoyed popularity from the general public. Many of his eccentricities, such as wearing heavy black eyeliner and all-white outfits, as well as his unique way of speaking, drew keen interest and frequent parodies by many comedians.

Recognizing his contribution to the fashion industry, Kim was presented with South Korea's Presidential Culture and Art Medal in 1977, the first of its kind for a designer. In 2000, he was also awarded a cultural award from France.

Kim, who was unmarried, is survived by a son he adopted in 1982.


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