PORTRAIT PHOTO PIERRE GUILLAUD/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Issey Miyake, who passed away in Tokyo at age 84, left an indelible mark on the global fashion landscape.
CFDA: The legendary Japanese fashion designer, who received a special award from the CFDA in 1983, pioneered new ways of mixing traditional craftsmanship with technology, especially in the way he revolutionized the use of pleats in the most light and lightheaded ways.
His sense for color was extraordinary, and it confidently pulsed through every collection. Very few did color with the confidence of Mr. Issey Miyake. And when the designer launched his playful Pleats Please line, he did so with the same sense of joy in innovation. His store, on the corner of Prince and Wooster in SoHo, featured special glasses with dizzying optical effects that were clear from some angles, distorted from others. They were brilliant, in every sense of the word.
So was the way he revolutionized the perfume business with his groundbreaking L’Eau D’issey perfume, a mix of lotus, carnations, white lilies, with amber seed and musk. It didn’t just smell divine. It came in a striking bottle that was an instant classic. It was to the minimalist era what Elsa Peretti’s Halston flacon was to the slinky Seventies. We all had to have it.
Mr. Miyake built his business in an era of fashion splendor – perhaps the last one – and he was a contemporary or Kenzo, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Antonio Lopez, and Andre Leon Talley (to name just a few). His passing is another reminder of a larger generational shift in fashion.
Rest in peace, Mr. Issey Miyake.