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Iconic and Legendary Fashion Designer Issey Miyake Passes Away at the Age of 84
- 10th Aug 2022
The iconic Japanese Fashion design legend Issey Miyake, has passed away at the age of 84, as per his company.
Issey Miyake, renowned for designing the famous black turtleneck sweaters worn by Steve Jobs, established a global fashion brand with his innovative designs and fragrance.
Throughout his extensive career, Miyake was known for using both traditional and innovative techniques.
According to Japanese media sources, a private funeral has already been performed for him.
Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake was just seven years old when an atomic bomb was dropped on the city by the United States. His mother perished to radiation poisoning three years later.
Despite this, he said in a 2009 New York Times opinion piece, "When I close my eyes, I still envision tragedies that no one should ever endure," and that he prefers to think of things "that can be generated rather than destroyed and bring beauty and joy."
Miyake reportedly wanted to be a dancer or an athlete when he was younger, but he changed his mind after seeing his sister's fashion publications.
After studying graphic design at a Tokyo art college, he travelled to Paris in the 1960s and began working for famous fashion designers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy.
The Miyake Design Studio was founded in Tokyo in 1970, after a temporary relocation to New York.
In the 1980s, he was recognised as one of the world's most inventive designers, having worked with a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and even traditional Japanese paper and fabric.
Before pleating the fabric, Miyake sandwiched it between layers of paper using a heat press.
His signature brand, Pleats, Please, was created after several tests revealed that the pleats stayed in place and did not wrinkle.
Due to the popularity of Miyake's Bao Bao bags, which were recognised for their little triangles of resin, counterfeits flooded the designer market.
Being a household name not just in the Japanese fashion industry but also on international catwalks gave him a household name for his high-tech but comfortable style.
His design company created high-end clothing for both sexes, as well as accessories such as purses, watches, and perfumes such as L'Eau d'Issey, which was introduced in 1992 and allegedly sold one bottle every fourteen seconds.
Now museum-worthy costumes from his A-POC (A Piece of Clothing) collection were woven from a single tube of fabric.
Steve Jobs reportedly commissioned Miyake to produce 100 of his characteristic turtleneck jumpers, each of which cost $175."
In recognition of his "outstanding contributions" to Japanese culture and the arts, he was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize in 2006 and the Order of Culture in 2010.
In a rare 2009 New York Times opinion piece, Miyake revealed how that day and the subsequent death of his mother deeply affected his art. My inclination is to think about things that can be created rather than destroyed, and I have tried unsuccessfully to abandon the notion that pleasure and beauty are desirable. At least in part, I decided to pursue a career in fashion design since it is an exciting and modern method to show one's ideas.