Issey Miyake, fashion designer and industrial designer

Fashion designer, technical researcher, and industrial designer: Issey Miyake, who passed away at 84, was a multitasking creative

A few days ago, Issey Miyake, Japanese designer and creator of icons, some well known, some lesser known, passed away.

Issey Miyake

Among his creations was the A-POC dress, a one-piece tubular dress made through a unique technique. A combination of creativity and technology, in fact, allowed Issey Miyake, with the collaboration of Dai Fujiwara, to create fluid but structured clothes made with a single thread, without any seams. The thread produces a continuous tube of fabric, with the various shapes – dresses, blouses, stockings, skirts – to be cut later, around the body. With the A-POC (A Piece of Clothing) technique, Miyake managed not to waste a single inch of fabric.

issey miyake design
A-POC – A Pice of Clothing

Another ‘invention’ discovered by Issey Miyake is the pleating, which he made more contemporary. Thanks to the chosen yarns and technique, the fabric seems to dance around the body. The result is a very comfortable, practical, and extremely dramatic dress. In addition to the invention of these clothes, Issey Miyake is the creator of the turtleneck that was Steve Jobs’ trademark.

Steve Jobs with the turtleneck by Issey Miyake

In his long career, however, his creativity spanned different fields. The first Issey Miyake brand and collection date back to 1970; since then, there have been several brands, for men, for women, and Pleats Please, celebrating the pleated fabric that became his trademark. However, Issey Miyake was an all-around creative who ranged in different fields of design.

The iconic Issey Miyake spring-summer 1995 collection

In 2001, he founded the brand Issey Miyake Watch, where he collaborated with several designers. At the end of 2021, an exhibition celebrated 25 watches designed by 12 designers. Among them are Naoto Fukasawa, Tokujin Yoshioka, Nao Tamura, and Jasper Morrison, to name a few.

issey miyake design
The O watch, by Tokujin Yoshioka for Issey Miyake Watch

Issey Miyake and industrial design

Between 2010 and 2013, Issey Miyake and a team of technicians and creatives collaborated with Artemide, designing the IN-EI lamps collection. The lamps are made of a special fabric that can shape and retain 3D structures. Artemide’s IN-EI Issey Miyake collection includes pendant, table and floor lamps, made of recycled material whose luminous transparency is higher than that of paper. The lamps retain their shape without any structure thanks to the material’s composition and folding technique. When not in use, the lamps can be folded, and unfolded only when needed.

Discover the Artemide collections

issey miyake design
Collection of ‘pleated’ lamps, IN-EY, by Issey Miyake for Artemide

Finally, among many other projects, after the huge success of the perfume L’Eau d’Issey, launched in 1992, in 2021 the Issey Miyake brand launched a new perfume, Drop d’Issey, and commissioned designer Todd Bracher to design its bottle.

The Drop d’Issey bottle, by American designer Todd Bracher

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