Brand ISSEY MIYAKE
|Founder||Issey Miyake (jp. 三宅一生)|
|Key people||Dai Fujiwara (jp. 藤原大), Yoshiyuki Miyamae (jp. 宮前義之), Yusuke Takahashi (jp. 高橋悠介), Satoshi Kondo (jp. 近藤悟史), Makiko Minagawa|
|Parent company||Miyake Design Studio|
ISSEY MIYAKE is a Japanese clothing brand founded by designer Issey Miyake. Since the debut of its first collection in 1971, ISSEY MIYAKE has placed particular emphasis on designing clothing that explores the relationship – between comfort and the void space – of the wearer's body and the fabric of the garment. This unique approach is based on the brand's concept of viewing clothing as a piece of cloth, allowing for the creation of universal pieces that are not tied to Western or Eastern clothing design conventions.
The ISSEY MIYAKE brand is part of the Miyake Design Studio. In addition to this, the Miyake Design Studio encompasses brands such as IM MEN, 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE, PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE, HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE, A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE, BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKE, HaaT, and me ISSEY MIYAKE.
In the 1960s, Issey Miyake worked in New York and Paris before returning to Tokyo to establish his own fashion design studio, "Miyake Design Studio." In the 1970s, his interest in new fabrics and techniques led to the creation of innovative clothing forms and manufacturing technologies. Miyake Design Studio was known for a collective approach, where team members contributed to the development of new materials and design ideas.
Miyake visited historical production regions and worked on reviving traditional techniques like sashiko embroidery and gama dyeing. In the 1980s, he explored the potential of clothing design using unconventional materials such as plastic, paper, and wire. Issey Miyake launched the "Plantation" clothing line, designed for people of various genders, ages, and body types.
In 1988, Miyake presented an exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris showcasing his material research. He also experimented with new ways of creating pleats in clothing, leading to the launch of the PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE line in 1993.
In 1998, Miyake began working on the A-POC (A Piece Of Cloth) project with Dai Fujiwara. The A-POC technology was based on using a single thread material transformed into clothing via programming. The Museum of Modern Art in New York included one of the early A-POC creations in its permanent collection.
In 2004, Miyake established the Issey Miyake Foundation with the aim of archiving his work and promoting design in society for future generations. In 2007, the foundation opened the 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT design center in Tokyo, with Miyake appointed as one of its directors.
In subsequent years, Miyake and his team continued their design and development research, launching new collections and holding exhibitions. In 2022, an exhibition was organized dedicated to artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude and their project "L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped."
The ISSEY MIYAKE brand and Steve Jobs
Issey Miyake began collaborating with Steve Jobs after Jobs took notice of a uniform Miyake had designed for Sony factory workers. Jobs asked Miyake to create similar vests for Apple employees, but the uniform idea faced strong resistance among the company's staff. Despite this, Issey Miyake crafted black turtlenecks specifically for Steve Jobs, which subsequently became a signature piece of Jobs' wardrobe. In Walter Isaacson's book "Steve Jobs," it's claimed that Jobs had about 100 identical turtlenecks from the ISSEY MIYAKE brand and wore them daily to save time on choosing outfits.