Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake has died


He designed wrinkle-free fashion and perfumes and also dressed Apple founder Steve Jobs. Now the Japanese Issey Miyake succumbed to cancer. He was 84 years old.

Issey Miyake was the engineer among fashion designers

Whether men's or women's fashion: In the 1980s, Issey Miyake was a shining star in the fashion world. He loved colorful and heavily pleated fabrics and silk. His collections “Pleats Please” and “A-POC” (A Piece of Cloth) made of tubular fabric with patterns that come out of a computer-controlled machine caused an international sensation. Apple founder Steve Jobs characteristic black Turtleneck sweaters also come from the house of Miyake; the designer and the computer specialist were close friends. 

Inspired by my sister's fashion magazines

Issey Miyake was born on April 22, 1938 in Hiroshima. As a child, he wanted to be an athlete or a dancer – until he noticed his sister's fashion magazines. For him, this was an inspiration that was to change his life. He studied graphic design in Tokyo and clothing design in Paris, where he collaborated with famous names in fashion such as Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy. worked together.

Applause for the designer in Paris

In 1970 he presented his first own collection in New York, in the same year he founded his Miyake design studio in Tokyo and quickly made a name for himself as one of the most innovative designers in Asia. His concept: to make clothes from a single piece of fabric if possible. Miyake's designs with innovative silhouettes and heavily pleated fabrics are famous. 

Textile research was his vision

Miyake not only designed fashion, but also accessories, jewelery and perfume. Above all, however, he was interested in the nature of matter. At the end of the 1980s, he developed a new type of pleating that allowed the fabric to retain its shape. Tested for freedom of movement on dancers, this resulted in his signature “Pleats, Please” line.

Fashion a la Issey Miyake

At the end of the 1990s, Miyake retired from active business and devoted himself solely to textile research. In 2005 he was honored for his life's work with the Japanese “Praemium Imperiale” , which is also considered the Nobel Prize for the Arts. A year later he received the Kyoto Prize for his “visionary clothing concepts”. The prize, created in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, the founder of the Japanese technology group Kyocera, is one of the most important awards in the field of science and culture, along with the Nobel Prize.

Miyake wanted to create beautiful things

In interviews, Miyake was often asked about the atomic bomb that was dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima in 1945 when he was seven years old. But he insisted he didn't want to be labeled “the designer who survived.” “I've tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to leave them behind, thinking of things that can be created rather than destroyed. Things that bring beauty and joy. I gravitated towards the field of clothing design, also because it's a creative one , modern and optimistic format.”

According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, Issey Miyake died on August 5. As the newspaper “Asahi Shimbun” and other Japanese media reported, the cause of death  be liver cancer.

suc/pg (reuters, dpa, afp)