Issey Miyake, Influential Japanese Fashion Designer, Dies at 84

Issey Miyake, the Japanese Fashion designer whose timeless pleats made him an industry favorite, has died at 84 He died of cancer on August 5, his office confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

A funeral with his family and close friends has already been held, his office said, adding that a memorial service will not be held, in accordance with the designer’s wishes.

Miyake rose to international fame in the 1980s with avant-garde designs that those who could afford his luxury pieces immediately considered collectors’ items. Today, his designs are housed in institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

He also found a customer for life in Steve Jobs, who wore their black turtlenecks almost exclusively from the 1980s.

Miyake was born in the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1938. The bomb that fell on the city in 1945 left him with a pronounced limp that would follow him into adulthood, and his mother died three years later from radiation exposure.

Determined not to be labeled as the designer who escaped the atomic bomb, he did not mention his traumatic childhood until 2009, when he wrote about the experience in a opinion piece in support of nuclear disarmament, published in the New York Times.

Miyake studied graphic design at Tokyo’s Tama Art University before moving to Paris in 1965. There, he enrolled at the renowned tailoring and tailoring school École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

While in Paris, Miyake worked for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy, two of the biggest names in haute couturebefore moving to New York to help Geoffrey Beene.

In 1970, he founded his own design studio in Tokyo. His early designs skilfully fused East and West, using Japanese embroidery techniques and tattoo designs.

It was during the 1980s that he began to develop a new fabric that could expand vertically with hundreds of small pleats. She was inspired by the Delphos pleated silk dresses designed by Henriette Negrin and her husband Mariano Fortuny in the early 20th century.

Miyake took his idea a step further, combining traditional and newly developed techniques to create permanently pleated garments that were both fashion-forward and comfortable, architectural and natural.

In the late ’90s, Miyake stepped back from designing daily collections under his namesake brand, enlisting the help of other creative leaders instead. Satoshi Kondo is the current lead designer. Of the brand

But he never stopped innovating. In 2007, Miyake launched his Reality Lab to explore durable and environmentally sustainable materials.

In addition to his clothing, Miyake was also known for his line of fragrances. The first, L’Eau d’Issey, was launched in 1992 and became an international bestseller.

Miyake received multiple awards for his work as a fashion designer and as an artist. In 2005, the Japan Arts Association awarded him a Praemium Imperiale for his outstanding achievements in the arts. A year later he became the first fashion designer to receive the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for his lifetime achievement.

In 2016, the French government award winning miyake the prestigious Legion of Honor and the Tokyo National Art Center organized the most comprehensive exhibition of Miyake’s career.

Until the end, Miyake remained faithful to the dressmaker’s trade that he had learned as a young man.

“The technology is valuable in a world with increasingly scarce resources in terms of reducing waste and facilitating mass production,” he said. he told CNN in 2016“but we can never lose sight of the power of touch in human hands.”

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