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Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dies aged 84

Jeremy Lim
09 August 2022

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, known for his pleated designs and perfume, has died aged 84 following his battle with liver cancer.

Famed for his Pleats Please and Homme Plissé Issey Miyake diffusion lines, the revolutionary designer also produced the signature black turtleneck of the late Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs alongside his mainline brand.

Miyake was born in Hiroshima in 1938 and studied graphic design at Tama Art University in Tokyo, before moving to Paris in 1965 to study at the tailoring and dressmaking school École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

The legendary designer worked with teams at Guy Laroche, Hubert de Givenchy and Geoffrey Beene, before heading back to Tokyo in 1970 to open the Miyake Design Studio.

Miyake was celebrated as one of the world's most pioneering designers for the materials he worked with, from traditional Japanese materials and paper to plastic and metal. He developed a new way of pleating fabric by wrapping it between layers of paper in a heat press, which resulted in his signature pleated designs that never wrinkle.

In 2006, he was the first fashion designer to win the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for lifetime achievement, and has showcased various archives and personal collection around the world, including the 2016 exhibition at the National Art Center in Tokyo.

The Miyake Design Studio and the Issey Miyake Group issued an official statement, reading: "It is with heavy heart that we must inform you that Issey Miyake, designer, and founder of the Miyake Design Studio and the Issey Miyake Group, passed away on August 5th, 2022, at a hospital in Tokyo, surrounded by close friends and associates. The cause of death was hepatocellular carcinoma. He was 84 years old. As per Mr. Miyake’s wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

"Miyake founded the Miyake Design Studio in 1970 and over the next 50 years produced revolutionary designs geared toward addressing the needs of contemporary lifestyles. Never one to embrace trends, Miyake’s dynamic spirit was driven by a relentless curiosity and desire to convey joy through the medium of design.

"Always a pioneer, Miyake both embraced traditional handcrafts but also looked to the next solution: the newest technology driven by research and development. He never once stepped back from his love, the process of making things. He continued to work with his teams, creating new designs and supervising all collections under the various Issey Miyake labels. His spirit of joy, empowerment and beauty will be carried on by the next generations."

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