Fashion Mourns the Death of Japanese Fashion Designer Issey Miyake

The prince of pleats has passed away from cancer at the age of 84

It was announced early this morning that famed Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake died from cancer at age 84 on August 5th. The Miyake Design Studio broke the news this morning, stating that a small family funeral had already occurred. Per the designer’s wishes, no further celebrations of life will be occurring.

The Prince of Pleats

Miyake’s work was widely known for its core aesthetic—focusing on innovative designs and origami-like shapes. He is perhaps one of the best-known designers in history for combining fashion with art and technology. Miyake insisted that his work emphasized design, not fashion, which certainly rings true in everything the designer created.

His Pleats Please collection launched in the early ’90s, quickly becoming a cult favorite of fashion folk and those in the know. The line featured innovative heat-pressed pleats that retain their shape through the washing process and don’t wrinkle.

Issey Miyake
image via WWD

Handbag lovers and creatives will forever be fans of the Issey Miyake Bao Bao line, which launched in 2000 and, over the years, has gone through multiple iterations of change. The notable design features mesh fabric layered with small colorful triangles of polyvinyl. Though Miyake never quite sought out the commonalities of fashion fame, his bags have certainly reached international stardom, a favorite of those in the know.

Humble Beginnings

Miyake, a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, graduated in 1963 from Tama Art University in Tokyo. He founded his namesake, the Miyake Design Studio, in 1970 and was one of the first Japanese designers to show in Paris. Miyake helped open doors for those who came after him and was a large part of a revolutionary wave of designers who helped bring Japan’s fashions to the rest of the world.

The New York Times stated that he often stressed that he did not consider himself “a fashion designer,” but he will most certainly be remembered as one of the most influential figures in fashion.

Bao Bao Issey Miyake Prism Bag


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