Fashion world pays tribute to Japanese designer Issey Miyake

The designer's death was announced on Tuesday

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Several members of the fashion world have paid tribute to Japanese designer Issey Miyake, who has died aged 84.

Miyake died of liver cancer on Friday, according to reports. A small, private funeral has already taken place.

Following the announcement on Tuesday, tributes have begun pouring in for the fashion industry great.

Federica Salto, senior fashion news editor of Vogue Italia, wrote on Instagram: “I was three years old when Issey Miyake, after months of studying, put together his pleats, particularly polyester whose pleats are indestructible despite wear and time that passes.

“Yet this designer whose art was truly at the service of clothing, whose effort was dedicated to bringing technology and design together, has always been dear to me.

“Maybe because he was one of the few who knew how to combine creativity with a pure sense of reality.”

Jirat Subpisankul, style director of Vogue Thailand, shared an image of one of Miyake’s designs alongside the caption: “R.I.P. Mr Issey Miyake. Your work stays forever.”

WWD magazine’s London and China market editor Tianwei Zhang shared a photo tribute to Miyake alongside the words “Rest in Peace.”

Fashion Twitter account Saint Doll wrote: “Rest in peace to one of the greatest designers to ever do it and a true visionary who shaped fashion in so many different ways, Issey Miyake.”

Other fans of his work also paid tribute to him on social media. “Issey Miyake played a huge part in my interest with fashion and how I view my body when fitting clothes! RIP THE GOAT!,” one user wrote.

“The fashion greats are immortals through the art they left us with. The emphasis Issey Miyake put into his garments and shows is everlasting,” another said.

Born in Hiroshima on April 22, 1938, as a child he witnessed the nuclear bombing of the city by the US, an event that had a profound effect on his life and work.

Miyake studied graphic design at Tama Art University in Tokyo, and then moved to Paris to study at the prestigious Chambre syndicale de la couture Parisienne.

After stints working for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy in 1969 he moved again, to New York, where he became friends with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg.

In 1970, he returned to Tokyo and founded his own house, Miyake Design Studio.

Fascinated with the idea of democratising fashion through simple construction, he began experimenting with different materials and treatments, in a quest that continued for the rest of his life.

Inspired by the work of Vionnet — and more importantly, the use of pleating — Miyake became intrigued with how he could create simple, one-size clothing, that would expand or contract to fit any body shape. To this end, he experimented endlessly to find the best method, finally discovering that making the piece of clothing first, and then feeding the finished item through a heat press to create the pleats, created folds that were almost impossible to remove.

By 1988, pleated garments were the backbone of the Issey Miyake fashion label, and in 1994 were given their own brand, Pleats Please Issey Miyake.

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Updated: August 10, 2022, 3:32 AM