The Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, famed for his pleated style of clothing and for producing the signature black turtleneck of his friend and Apple founder Steve Jobs, has died. He was 84.
Miyake is heralded as one of the most pioneering designers of the 20th century. “In Paris, we call the people who make clothing couturiers – they develop new clothing items – but actually the work of designing is to make something that works in real life,” Miyake once said of his design mantra.
Miyake was born in Hiroshima and was just seven-years-old when America dropped a devastating atomic bomb in August 1945.
The young Miyake lost his mother, three years later, to radiation posioning, however he set out to distance himself from being labelled “the designer who survived the atomic bomb”.
Miyake originally wanted to be a dancer or athlete until he stumbled upon his sister’s fashion magazines and was taken aback by what he saw.
Under the watchful eye of Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy he learned clothing design in Paris, at the renowned tailoring and dressmaking school École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. By 1970 he returned to his native country where he founded the fabled Miyake Design Studio.
Over his career he designed more than a dozen fashion lines ranging from clothing, bags, watches and fragances – a bottle of L’Eau d’Issey, launched in 1992, was rumoured to sell every 14 seconds. By 1997 he retired from his eponymous label and devoted himself to research.
A funeral service has already been held with his family and close friends, according to the Kyodo news agency.