Issey Miyake died at the age of 84, the innovative “clothing manufacturer” at heart

It is a sacred monster of fashion who has just passed away. Issey Miyake died at the age of 84 in the night of August 5. After graduating from the Tama University of Fine Arts in Tokyo.

He moved to Paris in 1965, where he worked for Guy Laroche and Givenchy. He then returned to Japan to found his own fashion house, then presented his first Issey Miyake show in New York in 1971.

He plays with unusual materials
Throughout the 70s and 80s, he made Japanese know-how shine in the world alongside Rei Kawakubo (Comme des garçons), Kenzo Takada or Yohji Yamamoto. He distinguishes himself from other designers by playing with unusual materials in fashion such as wire, Japanese handmade paper, or horsehair and even invents a synthetic resin infusion to make a series of sculpted bustiers from 1980.

Innovator in the soul, the one defines himself as a “manufacturer of clothing” develops several concepts, A-POC for “A piece of cloth”, an outfit composed of a single piece of fabric and his work on the pleated inspired the concept Pleats Please. All with the same philosophy, the garment must adapt to the wearer and his or her movement, not the other way around.

Many celebrities have worn his clothes from David Bowie to Mylène Farmer, including Steve Jobs (the famous black turtleneck sweaters). Like many of his colleagues, he also developed a perfume, the very popular L’eau d’Issey.

An architect of purity
A close friend of the designer, Jack Lang said of him that he was “an architect of purity, a man open to the world and humble, whose immense, millennial and futuristic work surprises, amazes, moves. It is both sculpture and movement.

The Japanese designer presented the fruit of 45 years of work in 2016 in Tokyo with the exhibition The work of Miyake Issey. For an excellent visual retrospective of his work, you can refer to the luxurious 512-page book published by Taschen, soberly entitled Issey Miyake.