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84-year-old Japanese fashion designer passes away

84-year-old Japanese fashion designer passes away

Issey Miyake, a pioneering Japanese fashion designer, passed away at the age of 84, according to his company. Miyake, who is renowned for his avant-garde designs and scent, established a global fashion brand by creating the renowned black turtleneck sweaters worn by Steve Jobs. Throughout his lengthy career, Miyake was renowned for using both classic and contemporary fashion techniques. According to Japanese media, a private funeral for him has already been held after his death on Friday from liver cancer. 

Miyake, who was born in Hiroshima in 1938, was just seven years old when an American atomic bomb decimated the city. Three years later, his mother succumbed to radiation exposure. When he was younger, Miyake reportedly wanted to be a dancer or athlete. However, after reading his sister’s fashion magazines, that changed. He traveled to Paris in the 1960s to work with renowned fashion designers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy after completing his graphic design studies at a Tokyo art institution. He briefly resided in New York before returning to Tokyo in 1970 to launch the Miyake Design Studio. 

By the 1980s, he was recognized as one of the most innovative designers in the world for his work with a variety of materials, including paper and traditional Japanese materials in addition to plastic and metal. The fabric was wrapped between layers of paper and heated in a press by Miyake to create a novel method of pleating. It was a huge hit because numerous testing showed the pleats would not wrinkle, and it gave rise to his hallmark label, Pleats, Please. Its engineering was lauded, and Miyake’s distinctive Bao Bao line of bags—recognized for their little resin triangles—was so well-liked that imitations filled the phony designer market. 

He became well-known for developing a high-tech yet functional and comfortable style, and he was a household name not just in the Japanese fashion business but also on the international runway. His fashion company created highly coveted clothing for both sexes as well as handbags, watches, and perfumes. When L’Eau d’Issey was introduced in 1992, it was said that a bottle was sold every 14 seconds. His A-POC (A Piece of Clothing) collection, which is now on display at museums, constructed clothes out of one continuous tube of fabric using a unique weaving technique. 

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Miyake is said to have produced 100 of the $175 apiece turtleneck jumpers at the request of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. His commitment to the arts earned him the renowned Kyoto Prize in 2006, and in 2010 he was given the Order of Culture for his “exceptional contributions” to Japanese culture and the arts.

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