Whether it was menswear or womenswear, Issey Miyake was a shining star in the fashion world in the 1980s. He loved colorful, heavily pleated fabrics, as well as silk.
Her “Pleats Please” and “A-POC” (A Piece of Cloth) collections have caused a stir around the world. Designed to minimize waste, A-POC garments were produced in rolls of machine-made knitted fabric that were either pre-sewn or fused with finished designs. The user can cut the pattern from the roll to create a custom garment ready to use.
Apple founder Steve Jobs’ signature black turtlenecks also came from the house of Miyake; the designer and the computer wizard were close friends.
Inspired by her sister’s fashion magazines
Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima on April 22, 1938. As a child, he wanted to be an athlete or a dancer until his attention was caught by his sister’s fashion magazines. This turned out to be a turning point in his life. He studied graphic design in Tokyo and clothing design in Paris, where he worked with famous names in the fashion industry such as Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy.
In 1970, he presented his first collection in New York. That same year, he founded his design studio Miyake in Tokyo and quickly established himself as one of Asia’s most innovative designers. His concept: to produce clothes from a single piece of fabric as far as possible.
Textile research was his vision
Miyake created not only clothes, but also accessories, jewelry and perfumes. But above all, he is interested in the nature of the fabric. At the end of the 1980s, he developed a new type of pleating in which the fabrics kept their shape. Tested on dancers for freedom of movement, this led to his signature line “Pleats Please”.
Miyake retired from active business in the late 1990s and devoted himself solely to textile research. In 2005, he was honored for his life’s work with the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale, a worldwide honor considered the Nobel Prize in the arts. A year later, he received the Kyoto Prize for his “visionary clothing concepts”. The prize, created in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, founder of the Japanese technology company Kyocera, is one of the most important prizes in the field of science and culture alongside the Nobel Prize.
create beautiful things
In interviews, Miyake was often asked about the atomic bomb dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima in 1945 when he was seven years old. But he stressed that he didn’t want to be labeled “the designer who survived”.
“I never chose to share my memories or thoughts of that day,” Miyake wrote in a 2009 commentary for The New York Times. “I tried, but failed, to put them behind me, preferring to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, and which bring beauty and joy. I turned to the field of clothing design, partly because it’s a creative format that’s modern and upbeat.”
Issey Miyake died on August 5, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper and other Japanese media reported that the cause of death was liver cancer.
suc/pg (Reuters, dpa, AFP)
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