TOKYO — Issey Miyake, who founded one of Japan's most recognisable design houses and was famous for his radically sculpted pleated pieces as well as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' black turtlenecks, has died. He was 84.
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Miyake defined an era in contemporary Japanese history, rising to prominence in the 1970s as part of a generation of designers and artists that achieved global acclaim by creating a Japanese vision distinct from the West.
Miyake died of liver cancer on August 5, according to the Miyake Design Office.
Miyake's origami-like pleats turned drab polyester into stylish. He also used computer technologies to weave clothing. His simple clothes was intended to honour the human body, regardless of colour, build, size, or age.
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Miyake despised the term "fashion designer," preferring not to associate with what he considered as frivolous, trend-watching, showy spending.
Miyake was commissioned to create the official Olympic costume for Lithuania, which had recently earned independence from the Soviet Union, in 1992.
Miyake, who was born in Hiroshima in 1938, became famous as soon as he walked the runways in Europe. His brown shirt, which included raw silk knit and Japanese sashiko stitching, was featured on the cover of Elle magazine's September 1973 issue.
In terms of gender roles, Miyake was also a pioneer. He used the 80-year-old feminist Fusae Ichikawa as a model in the 1970s, giving the message that clothing should be cosy and showcase the true beauty of its wearers.
A private funeral was already performed, according to his office, and no more ceremonies would be done in compliance with Miyake's wishes. Miyake maintained his family's privacy, and no survivors have been identified.