Issey Miyake, noted Japanese fashion designer, dies at 84

Published August 9, 2022, 6:32 PM

by John Legaspi

Known for his origami-like pleats, geometric shapes, and designs that merge technology and traditions, Issey Miyake was among the many Japanese designers that became known worldwide for their works. Sadly, the fashion creative passed away last Friday due to liver cancer. He was 84.

Issey Miyake (Photo from AP News)

Prior to becoming the fashion genius he was, Issey first experience the bombing at Hiroshima when he was young. Born in 1938, the designer shared that he still saw “things no one should ever experience” because of it, adding that his mother died due to the radiation exposure caused by the bombing. 

His interest in fashion started in 1964 when he was in college. He studied graphic design at a Tokyo art university and moved to Paris in the ‘60s to pursue a career in fashion. During that time, he was able to work with distinct designers such as Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy.

By the ‘80s, Issey became one of the celebrated designers in Japan, thanks to his knack for designing clothes with metal and plastics, and also other materials such as rattan, “washi” paper, jute, horsehair, foil, yarn, batik, indigo dyes, and wiring.

His fame has reached the Western world. Issey’s signature design was his way of doing pleats by wrapping fabric in between layers of paper in a heat press. Apart from that, he is also known for creating the official Olympic uniform for Lithuania in 1992, and designing Apple founder Steve Jobs’ trademark black turtleneck.

“Designing is like a living organism in that it pursues what matters for its well-being and continuity,” the designer wrote in his book.

Miyake Design Office confirms that a private funeral has been held to honor the late Japanese designer. 


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