Issey Miyake, a Japanese artist whose reputation was founded on sharp pleating, avant-garde cuts, and unique scents, is one of the few designers whose names have become as synonymous with fashion innovation. Miyake, 84, passed away in Tokyo on August 5 from liver cancer. The pioneering creative hub he established in 1970, the Miyake Design Studio, made the news of his passing on August 9.
Miyake received praise for his fashion designs throughout his lifetime for both their technical excellence and creative merit. His distinctive pleating style, which resembled origami, was both a technical achievement and a fashion statement. Additionally, he had a refreshingly democratic design philosophy, believing in the creation of clothing that transcended gender, size, race, and age while also being wonderfully constructed, affordable, and usable for daily usage by regular people. Miyake’s approach to design was inherently compassionate in this regard, a trait that was undoubtedly informed by his personal experiences. He was a child growing up in Hiroshima when the American atomic bomb was dropped, but he died three years later from radiation illness.