He is recognized worldwide for his contemporary, industrial and innovative apparel designs, fragrances and exhibitions. His work cuts the edge of science and fashion, combining the two into a harmonizing symphony using unconventional materials.
Issey Miyake was born on April 22, 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan. In the 1960s, he designed for Givenchy in Paris, after which he designed for Geoffrey Beene in Manhattan. In 1970, Miyake started his own design studio. During the 1970s, he toyed with avant-garde Eastern designs. In the 1980s, he began using technology new East meets West textiles. He started Pleats Please in 1993 and A Piece of Cloth in 1999.
In the late 1980s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production. In which the garments are cut and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric’s ‘memory’ holds the pleats and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are ready-to wear. He did the costume for Ballett Frankfurt with pleats in a piece named “the Loss of Small Detail” William Forsythe and also work on ballet “Garden in the setting”.
Issey Miyake lines and brands
Mr Miyake “oversees the overall direction of all lines created by his company”, even though the individual collections have been designed by his staff since his ‘retirement’ from the fashion world in 1997.
Issey Miyake – main collection line, subdivided into men (since 1978/85) and women (since 1971) collections, designed by Dai Fujiwara (succeeded Naoki Takizawa in 2006)
Issey Miyake Fête – colorful women’s line that “draws on the technological innovations of Pleats Please” (Fête means ‘celebration’ in French) (since 2004)
Pleats Please Issey Miyake – polyester jersey garments for women that are first “cut and sewn and then pleated […] (normally, fabric is first pleated and then cut and sewn […])” “to permanently retain washboard rows of horizontal, vertical or diagonal knife-edge pleats.”Miyake patented the technique in 1993
HaaT – women’s line, designed by Miyake’s former textile designer, Makiko Minagawa. HaaT means ‘village market’ in Sanskrit, the word sound similar to ‘heart’ in English
A-POC – 1998- custom-collection for men and women. Tubes of fabric are machine-processed and can be cut into various shapes by the consumer. A-POC is an acronym of ‘a piece of cloth’, and a near homonym of ‘epoch’.
132 5. Issey Miyake – an evolution of the A-POC concept. Works are presented as two-dimensional geometric shapes made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate mixed with natural fibers and dyes, which then unfold into structured garments. (since 2014)
me Issey Miyake – line of “exclusive one-sized shirts that stretch to fit the wearer” that are sold in plastic tube, named Cauliflower for the non-Asian market. (since 2001)
Bao Bao Issey Miyake – line of bags
Issey Miyake Watches – men’s and women’s watches
Issey Miyake Perfumes – line of fragrances for men and women. See below
Evian by Issey Miyake – Limited edition bottle designed by Issey Miyake for Evian water.
Issey Miyake maintains a freestanding store, named ELTTOB TEP Issey Miyake (reverse for ‘Pet Bottle’) in Osaka where the full array of lines is available.
21 21 Design Sight (a play on 20/20 vision) is a museum-style research center for design, constructed by Tadao Ando, that was opened in Roppongi, Tokyo in March 2007. The center is headed by Issey Miyake and four other Japanese designers, and operated by The Miyake Issey Foundation.
The Miyake Issey Foundation, founded in Tokyo in 2004, operates the 21_21 Design Sight center, organizes exhibitions and events, and publishes literature.
In 2005, he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture.
Miyake won the Arts and Philosophy Kyoto Prize in 2006
Japan’s Order of Culture, 2010
XXIII Premio Compasso d’Oro ADI, 2014, for family of lamps IN-EI Issey Miyake, Artemide.