Renowned avant-garde fashion designer and innovator Issey Miyake is dead. Miyake died in a Tokyo hospital at age 84. The late designer died of liver cancer.
The Issey Miyake Studio and Issey Miyake Group shared the sad news on Friday August 5th.
Miyake rose to prominence in the 1970s, with his work over the years defined by technology-driven designs, bold, colourful styles, and origami-like pleats the latter of which earned him the title “Prince of Pleats”.
The visionary designer founded the Miyake Design Studio in 1970 and went on to create a range of fashion lines as well as fragrances.
Miyake’s designs have been worn by the likes of Miles Davis and Grace Jones. He was also responsible for Apple founder Steve Jobs’ signature turtleneck sweaters. Although he officially retired from fashion in 1997 he continued to oversee the creative direction of his company’s fashion lines.
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Miyake was the innovative leader of a diverse band of Japanese designers who have changed the face of haute couture and high-street dress over the past four decades. He also helped make contemporary fashion a staple of costume institutes and museum retrospectives.
Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe and the late Kenzo Takada, brought to their clothes a mix of minimalist calm and historically informed couturier’s craft, underpinned by a respect for the structural beauty of the kimono and the power of traditional Japanese calligraphy and tatoo art. Two of Miyake’s designs are currently featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Kimono Style.
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