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Remembering Issey Miyake

by | Aug 13, 2022 | Fashion, Industry

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.

 

Issey Miyake, Fall/Winter 2016. (Photo by Francois G. Durand/WireImage)

 

Issey Miyake’s Spring/Summer 2013 show. (Photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images)

 

Issey Miyake, Spring/Summer 2018. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

 

Issey Miyake muse Grace Jones in his design, New York City, 2003/ New York, United States. (Photo by Bill Davila/FilmMagic)

 


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.

Issey Miyake takes his runway bow, Paris, 1997. (Photo by Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

 

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