Cover Issey Miyake's Autumn/Winter 1997-98 Ready-to-Wear collection, shown in Paris (Photo: Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The Japanese designer, known for his reinvention of pleats, technologically driven fabrics and memorable fragrances, has passed away

Legendary Japanese designer Issey Miyake has died aged 84. He died from hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer, according to Reuters.

Born in 1938 in Hiroshima, Miyake studied graphic design at university in Tokyo, later switching his focus to fashion design. He moved to Paris in the 1960s, where he worked with celebrated designers Hubert de Givenchy and Guy Laroche.

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Miyake set up his own studio in the 1970s and released his first collection of menswear. In the following decade, he established a firm foothold in the fashion world when he reinvented the Fortuny pleat. His garments were cut, sewn and pressed in a way that would keep the pleats crisp while allowing flexibility of movement, and as result, the iconic Pleats, Please line was born.

His unique, technically brilliant designs—which blended loose, Japanese silhouettes with revolutionary pleating and geometrically inclined shapes—were internationally recognised. The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously became a fan of his black turtleneck design.

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Throughout his career, Miyake developed over a dozen lines of clothing and accessories, including a menswear collection, the Bao Bao triangular bags and fragrances. His best-selling perfume, L’eau d’Issey, launched in 1994 and still enjoys popularity today.

“Design is not for philosophy—it’s for life,” Miyake told the International Herald Tribune in 1992. He was honoured with several prestigious awards, including the Order of Culture in 2010 for his contributions to culture and the arts in Japan, leaving a lasting impression in the fashion world.


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