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Legendary fashion designer Issey Miyake has passed away

Issey Miyake expressed a unique blend of tradition and futuristic sensibilities in his work. The large volumes of colour, and bold strong lines, were a testament to his life and showed the strength of a true artist with a formidable and rich inner foundation.

Renowned Japanese fashion designer, Issey Miyake passed away in Tokyo on the 5th of August from liver cancer. He was 84. Best known for his wholly original garments, and his popular perfume, L’eau d’Issey, Issey Miyake has created some of the most timeless, breathtakingly beautiful, and original garments the world has seen.

Merging traditional and modern methods in his work, with elements borrowed from the ancient monks, modern futuristic stylings, and a distinct nod to origami-like pleats, his garments were not only comfortable but expressed the natural beauty of real people.

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Credit: Irving Penn

A pioneer in gender roles, he famously asked 80-year-old feminist, Fusae Ichikawa in the 1970s to be his model, to affirm the message that garments must be, above all else, comfortable and real. 

Miyake went on to famously dress Steve Jobs in a black turtleneck, (who would Steve Jobs be without the ubiquitous turtle neck), Grace Jones, Robin Williams, Kim Kardashian, Mary Kate Owen, Rhianna, Meryl Streep and Miles Davis. Although he officially retired from fashion in 1997, he continued to oversee the creative direction of his company’s fashion lines.

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Credit Getty

The statement issued by the Issey Miyake Studio and Issey Miyake Group stated that, as per Miyake’s wishes, there will be no public funeral or memorial service. According to a Japanese media report, a private funeral has already taken place.

In death, Miyake has kept firmly in place his mantra for life, to be traditionally respectful,  humble and unflashy.