Issey Miyake, Japan’s prince of pleats, dies of cancer aged 84

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Issey Miyake, Japan’s prince of pleats, dies of cancer aged 84

TOKYO, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Japanese designer Issey Miyake, known for his never-wrinkle pleated style and who created the signature black turtleneck of friend and Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) founder Steve Jobs, has died, media said on Tuesday. He was 84.

Miyake, whose name became a byword for Japan’s economic and fashion prowess in the 1980s, died of liver cancer on Aug. 5, the Kyodo news agency said. No further details were immediately available.

Known for his practicality, Miyake wanted to be either a dancer or an athlete before reading his sister’s fashion magazines inspired him to change direction – with those original interests believed to lie behind the freedom of movement which his clothes allow.

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Miyake was born in Hiroshima and was seven years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city while he was in a classroom. He was reluctant to talk about the event later. Writing in the New York Times in 2009 as part of a campaign to get then-US President Barack Obama to visit the city, he said he did not want to be labeled “the designer who survived the bomb”. not.

“When I close my eyes, I still see things that no one should ever experience,” he wrote, adding that his mother died of radiation exposure within three years.

“I tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to put it behind me, preferring to think of things that could be created, not destroyed, and that brought beauty and joy. I gravitated to the field of clothing design, partly because it’s a creative format. it’s modern and optimistic.”

After studying graphic design at a Tokyo art university, he learned clothing design in Paris, where he worked with famous fashion designers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy, before leaving for New York. In 1970 he returned to Tokyo and founded the Miyake Design Studio.

In the late 1980s, he developed a new way of pleating by wrapping fabric between layers of paper and placing it in a heat press, with the garments retaining their pleated shape. Tested for their freedom of movement on dancers, this led to the development of his signature “Pleats, Please” line.

Eventually, he developed more than a dozen fashion lines ranging from his flagship Issey Miyake for men and women to bags, watches and fragrances before essentially retiring in 1997 to devote himself to research.

In 2016, when asked what he thought were the challenges facing future designers, he indicated to the British newspaper Guardian that people are likely to consume less.

“We may have to go through a process of elimination. This is important,” he was quoted as saying.

“In Paris we call the people who make clothes couturiers – they develop new clothing items – but really the work of design is to make something that works in real life.”

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Reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Elaine Lies; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Chris Cushing and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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