The master of the pleat, Issey Miyake, died on August 5 at the age of 84 of liver cancer, according to the Kyodo news agency.
Issey Miyake died on the evening of 5 August, an employee at his Tokyo office told AFP. The Japanese fashion designer had been suffering from liver cancer for several years. Respecting the designer’s wishes, no memorial service will be held, according to the Business of Fashion.
Issey Miyake, famous for his wrinkle-free clothing style, was born on 22 April 1938 in Hiroshima and was seven years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. Issey Miyake survived the bombing on 6 August 1945, but his mother died three years later from the bomb’s radiation.
To cope with this dramatic episode in his life, he promised himself to follow his dreams and do everything he could to achieve them. In 1958, he went to Tokyo to study design at the Tama University of Fine Arts and became interested in garment manufacturing. In the 1960s, Issey Miyake defined himself as an artist in his own right and set out to revolutionise the textile industry by redefining the way clothes were made and designed.
After studying design in Tokyo, he learned garment design in Paris, where he worked with famous fashion designers such as Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy, before moving to New York. In 1970, he returned to Tokyo and founded the Miyake Design Studio.
In the 1980s, the designer developed a new method of pleating by wrapping fabrics in layers of paper and placing them in a heat press, the garments retain their pleated shape and never wrinkle. This new method was the guiding principle behind his iconic “Pleats, Please” line.
Issey Miyake was one of the first Japanese designers to show in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, and retired in 1997, wishing to devote himself entirely to research.
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