RIP Issey Miyake: Remembering the Legacy of the Influential Japanese Fashion Designer

One of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century has passed away. After a long struggle with liver cancer, Issey Miyake—the Japanese designer best known for his sculptural garments and work with pleats—died on August 5, 2022, at the age of 84.

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake was inspired to pursue a career in fashion after surviving the atomic bombing of the city in 1945. “I gravitated toward the field of clothing design, partly because it is a creative format that is modern and optimistic,” he said in 2009. He studied graphic design at Tama Art University in Tokyo and later moved to Paris where he worked for Hubert de Givenchy. He relocated to New York City, where he befriended famous artists, including Christo, Andy Warhol, and Robert Rauschenberg.

When he moved back to Japan in 1970, Miyake founded Miyake Design Studio and began producing high-end women's fashion. He became known for his work with sculptural and pleated garments, which he experimented with throughout the 80s. Later, Miyake was asked by Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs to make the iconic black turtleneck he would become forever associated with. “I was always interested in making clothing that is worn by people in the real world,” Miyake commented.

The Issey Miyake Group said the designer passed away surrounded by “close friends and associates.” His legacy as an artist and designer will live on through his beautiful work.

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake died from liver cancer at 84.

He was known for his sculptural designs and work with pleats.



Miyake also designed Steve Jobs' signature black turtleneck.

h/t: [Yanko Design, dezeen]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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