RIP Issey Miyake, Legendary Designer and King of Pleats

RIP Issey Miyake, Legendary Designer and King of Pleats

The fashion world just lost one of its most influential names. Issey Miyake, the legendary Japanese designer, died at 84 last week in Tokyo from liver cancer according to a statement released by the Miyake Design Studio.

Known for his signature pleating technique and origami-like shapes, the designer launched his design studio in 1970 with a focus on the intersection of technology and traditional design. He gained global recognition in the '80s after showing his collections during Paris Fashion Week (where the brand is still part of the calendar) and counted Grace Jones and Steve Jobs as friends (Miyake designed Jobs' famous black turtlenecks).

Miyake was born in Hiroshima, Japan and witnessed the atomic bombing as a child. He apprenticed for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy in Paris before moving to New York and working for Geoffrey Beene. He retired from actively designing in 1997 but has maintained oversight of his various sub-brands, including Homme Plissé and the popular Pleats Please line.

Issey Miyake at his Fall 1997 show in Paris.

The house released the following statement: “Never one to embrace trends, Miyake’s dynamic spirit was driven by a relentless curiosity and desire to convey joy through the medium of design. Always a pioneer, Miyake both embraced traditional handcrafts but also looked to the next solution: the newest technology driven by research and development."

"He never once stepped back from his love, the process of making things," the statement continued. "He continued to work with his teams, creating new designs and supervising all collections under the various Issey Miyake labels. His spirit of joy, empowerment and beauty will be carried on by the next generations.”

Photo via Getty