Legendary. Maverick. Iconic. Words that have been used to describe fashion designers from all over the world. But all of them are true about the Japanese designer Issey Miyake. He was not only one of the first Japanese designers to work in the international fashion world, but he also made it possible for others to do so. His sad demise in a Tokyo hospital on August 5 left a massive hole in the fashion world.
Miyake was a pioneer in many ways, like making clothes that didn't care about gender or making a line of signature perfumes.
Even though he lived through Hiroshima as a child, Miyake never wanted to be called the "survivor designer." So after learning about graphic design in Tokyo, he went to Paris to study how to design clothes. At the beginning of his career, the idea that clothes were also a design form was thought to be very new.
What was Miyake best known for?
Miyake was known for his clothing designs, exhibitions, and fragrances, like L'eau d'Issey, based on technology and innovative design. First, he went to Tokyo's Tama Art University to study graphic design. He then moved to Paris to look at the highly regarded Chambre Syndicale de la couture Parisienne.
After working for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy, he moved again in 1969 to New York. There, he met artists like Robert Rauschenberg and became friends with them.
He was interested in making fashion more accessible to everyone through simple construction, so he started experimenting with different materials and treatments.
Miyake was interested in how he could make simple, one-size clothes that could expand or shrink to fit any body shape. He was inspired by the work of Vionnet, primarily how he used pleating. To do this, he tried many different things until he found that making the piece of clothing first and then putting it through a heat press to make the pleats made folds nearly impossible.
He was also known for creating Steve Jobs' iconic black turtleneck and jeans look, which he carried for almost two decades. His innovations in the fashion world will forever grace every true-blue creator's book for ingenuity and simplicity at its best.
We at Endless mourn his death and thank him for his incredible body of creative work over the decades.