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Japanese Fashion Designer, Issey Miyake, Has Passed Away

At the age of 84, famed fashion designer known for producing clothing that never creased, and Steve Jobs’ iconic black turtle neck sweaters, Issey Miyake, has passed away. The Japanese fashion designer was infamous for his unique pleated fabrics and for creating 100 black turtleneck sweaters for Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. Miyake passed away on August 5th 2022 from liver cancer in Tokyo.

A statement from the Issey Miyake Group read, “Miyake’s dynamic spirit was driven by a relentless curiosity and desire to convey joy through the medium of design.” It also read that, “as per Mr. Miyake’s wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service”.

What made the brand stand out more than anything was the Miyake’s “anti-trend” approach to design and how he referred to his creations as “clothing” rather than “fashion.”

Miyake was born in Hiroshima in 1938, and studied graphic design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo before he made his foray into fashion design and moved to Paris to become an apprentice to Guy Laroche and then worked for Hubert de Givenchy - around the time that Audrey Hepburn was wearing his couture creations.

In the late 1960s, Issey Miyake tired of an industry that seemingly catered only to the wealthy and became interested in “fashion as function.” The Japanese designer returned to Japan to open his design studio in 1970, but it wasn’t until 1993 that he launched his most well known line, Pleats Please – as a response to the price and unwearability of high-end fashion.

Just like the writer of this article, Miyake was disenchanted with the fast pace at which fashion was being produced, and with that in mind, used the notion to create garments that lasted forever, that didn’t need to be folded or ironed. He once said in an interview with the Village Voice in 1983, “I want my customer to be able to wear a sweater I designed 10 years ago with this year’s pants.”

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