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Famous Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dies at 84



(Tokyo) Issey Miyake, who built one of Japan’s biggest fashion brands and was known for his boldly sculpted and iconic pleated pieces, has died. He was 84 years old.

The fashion designer died on August 5 of liver cancer, the Miyake Design Office announced on Tuesday.

Issey Miyake made his mark on modern Japanese history, rising to prominence in the 1970s among a generation of fashion designers and artists who achieved worldwide fame by defining a Japanese vision unique to the West.

Mr. Miyake’s origami-style pleats transformed the usually coarse polyester into chic. He also used computer technology in weaving to create pieces. His realistic clothing was meant to celebrate the human body regardless of race, build, height or age.

Mr. Miyake hated even being called a fashion designer, choosing not to identify with what he saw as frivolous, trendy and ostentatious consumerism. He was known as the designer behind Apple founder Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck.

Again and again, Mr. Miyake returned to his basic concept of starting with a single piece of fabric – whether draped, folded, cut or wrapped.

Over the years, he has drawn inspiration from a variety of cultures and societal motifs, as well as everyday objects – plastic, rattan, washi paper, jute, horsehair, foil, thread, batik , indigo dyes and wiring.


Again and again, Mr. Miyake returned to his basic concept of starting with a single piece of fabric – whether draped, folded, cut or wrapped.

He sometimes conjured images of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, or collaborated with Japanese painter Tadanori Yokoo in images of monkeys and foliage in vibrant, psychedelic hues.

He has also worked with furniture and interior designer Shiro Kuramata, photographer Irving Penn, choreographer and director Maurice Bejart, potter Lucie Rie and the Frankfurt Ballet.

In 1992, Mr. Miyake was commissioned to design the official Olympic uniform for Lithuania, which had just gained independence from the Soviet Union.

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Issey Miyake became a star as soon as he arrived on the European catwalks. Her brown top, which combines the Japanese sewn fabric called “sashiko” with a raw silk knit, graced the cover of the magazine’s September 1973 issue. She.

Mr Miyake was also a pioneer in gender roles, asking feminist Fusae Ichikawa in the 1970s – when she was 80 – to be his role model, sending the message that clothes should be comfortable and expressive the natural beauty of real people.

Although he made clothes that went beyond the mundane, seeming to reach for the spiritual, he made a point of never being pretentious, always endorsing the T-shirt and jeans look.

His office has confirmed that a private burial has already taken place and that there will be no further ceremonies, in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. Mr. Miyake has kept his family life private and his descendants are not known.

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