TOKYO – Issei Miyake, the Japanese designer famous for his extravagant clothes and cult perfumes whose name became a global byword for modern fashion in the 1980s, died on Friday in Tokyo. He was 84.
Miyake Design Studio announced the death on Tuesday of liver cancer.
Mr. Miyake is probably best known for micropleating, which he first introduced in 1988, but recently it has become increasingly popular with new and younger consumers.
His proprietary heat treatment system means the accordion-like panels in his designs are machine washable, never losing their shape, and making sleepwear easy. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, also developed the signature black turtleneck.
His Bao Bao bag, made of mesh fabric layered with small colored triangles of polyvinyl, has long been a staple of creative industries.
In the year Released in 1993, Plate Please, a clothing line with razor blades featuring fountains, became his most recognizable look.
Mr. Miyake’s designs appeared everywhere from factory floors – for the Japanese electronics giant Sony – he designed uniforms for floor dancing. His insistence that clothing is a form of design was considered avant-garde in the early years of his career, and he had significant collaborations with photographers and architects. His designs were featured on the cover of Artforum in 1982 – unheard of for a fashion designer at the time – and entered the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Mr. Miyake is credited with creating a global brand in Japan that has contributed to the country’s efforts to build itself as a global destination for fashion and pop culture. In the year In 2010, he received the country’s highest art honor, the Order of Culture.
Kazunaru Miyake was born on April 22, 1938. In the year A survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, his mother died of radiation poisoning three years later.
Mr. Miyake rarely discussed that day or any of his other personal stories — “preferring to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, and that bring beauty and joy,” he wrote in a 2009 New York Times op-ed. .
He graduated from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1963, where he studied design. In the year Japanese fashion opens the door to the rest of the world, to contemporaries like Yoji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.
He has often emphasized that he does not consider himself a “fashion designer”.
“Anything that is ‘in fashion’ quickly goes out of style. Fashion doesn’t work. I make clothes,” Mr. Miyake told ParisVoice magazine in 1998.
“I didn’t want to make clothes that only people with money could wear. They were things like jeans and T-shirts, common to many people, easy to wash and easy to use,” he told the Japanese daily The Yomiuri Shimbun in 2015.
However, he was particularly known as a designer who combined fashion with technology and art. His animating idea is that clothes should be made of one fabric, and to achieve that goal he uses new techniques and designs that incorporate fabrics – such as the famous pleats.
Details of Mr. Miyake’s survivors are not available. The famously private designer has long been known for his close relationships with his colleagues and collaborators, who he says are essential to his success. He was closely associated with Midori Kitamura, who started as a fit model at the studio, worked with him for nearly 50 years, and now serves as the president of the design studio.
Throughout his life, he “never deviated from his passion, the creative process,” Mr. Miyake’s office said in a statement.
“What I’m most interested in is people and the human form,” Mr. Miyake told The Times in 2014. Clothing is the closest thing to humans.
Hikari Hida He reported from Tokyo.