In memoriam: The late Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s groundbreaking fashion legacy

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — This week, the world says goodbye to a fashion icon. On August 05, fashion trailblazer Issey Miyake passed away at age 84 after battling liver cancer. His death was announced by the Miyake Design Studio, the creative hub and women’s fashion producer that he founded in 1970, last August 09.

Issey Miyake’s legacy is one that opened many doors not only in Japanese fashion but in fashion movements throughout the world. From his technology-driven designs to his avant-garde approach to his creations, he was an innovative mind that shaped the way the fashion world sees clothes and the creative processes behind them.

The Japanese designer is best known as the “king of pleats,” alluding to his rise to fame in the 80s for his origami-like, no-crease pleated designs, a radical and cutting-edge shift that paved the way for aesthetically pleasing pieces that still allowed for function and freedom of the body.  In fact, as a response to high fashion’s lack of wearable and affordable pieces, Miyake launched the Pleats Please line in 1993.

Issey is also to thank for the instantly recognizable black turtle necks that Steve Jobs always wore. The Apple founder’s staple was no ordinary turtleneck, it was one that Jobs specifically commissioned from Issey since they were close and because of Issey’s known love of technology.

What set Miyake apart was that he always prioritized motion and practicality when creating his designs without ever sacrificing his unique point of view and eye for design which made him an icon in the fashion world. From working with unorthodox materials and creating interesting shapes to experimenting with trailblazing techniques and incorporating technology to ensure a garment moves and functions the way he intends it to, there were many things about his legacy that make him an unforgettable and vital part of contemporary fashion.

All over the world, fashion and design experts and enthusiasts alike are paying tribute to the late designer and celebrating the iconic works that made up his revolutionary career.



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