Issey Miyake
Issey Miyake has been innovating in a career that spanned more than 50 years. Image Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

The founder of his legendary eponymous brand, Issey Miyake, has died aged 84 from liver cancer. Known for his innovative and groundbreaking work in a career lasting more than 50 years, the Hiroshima-born designer was put to rest in a private ceremony as per his wishes.

Miyake worked and lived in Paris and New York in his youth before moving to Tokyo to found Miyake Design Studio, where his creative use of materials and a penchant for doing things differently already made him famous by the 1980s. Miyake continuously honoured his Japanese heritage and used national traditional craftsmanship methods and visual elements in his work.

One of his biggest breakthrough’s was Miyake’s development of a new way to pleat garments and at the same time allow freedom of movement and durability. Miyake was also known for collaborating with artists such as Dame Lucie Tie, photographer and collage maker Yasumasa Morimura, American sculptor Tim Hawkinson and more, and he also made the iconic black rollbacks that became the signature look for Apple’s Steve Jobs.

With a technical mind and a desire to innovate, Miyake’s heart was always in the research department of his Miyake Group, and he most recently held the position of co-director of 21 21 Design Sight, Japan’s first museum-style research design centre which opened last year.