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Legendary designer Issey Miyake has passed away

The Japanese fashion icon leaves behind an incredible legacy

issey miyake
Natalie Salmon
Natalie SalmonFashion Digital Editor
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In a statement released to the public, The Issey Miyake Group has revealed that legendary Japanese designer Issey Miyake died of liver cancer in a hospital in Tokyo on August 5th.

The titan of industry was the founder of the Miyake Design Studio and the Issey Miyake Group. As per his wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service for the 84 year old designer. 

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issey miyake runway bow

 Issey Miyake takes a bow at the end of his 1997 runway show

Who was Issey Miyake?

Issey Mikaye was famous for his use of pleats, and his body of work which embraced traditional techniques as well as cutting edge design and technology. 

The designer was born on April 22, 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan. As a child he witnessed the atomic bombing of his city in August 1945. His interest in clothing design was developed after reading his sister’s fashion magazines. After studying graphic design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo and graduating in 1964 he  enrolled in the Chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne school in Paris and was the apprentice of French fashion designer Guy Laroche.

He also worked under the legendary Hubert de Givenchy, where as a fledgling designer he grew 50 to 100 sketches daily for the couturier. After his stint in Paris he moved to New York and studied English at Colombia University. He returned to his home country in 1970 and the same year he founded the Miyake Design Studio, producing luxury womenswear.

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issey miyake runway

A model walks the runway during the Issey Miyake show at Paris Fashion Week in 2014

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What was Issey Miyake famous for?

One of the most enduring legacies of his has been his cult-favourite fragrances including  L'eau d'Issey, which became his best-known product. The perfume was launched in 1992. The name L'eau d'Issey is actually a pun playing on the name "Issey's water" and the words "l'odyssée" which sound similar when both are spoken in French. The bottle was designed by Miyake and was based on the view of the moon behind the Eiffel Tower from his Paris apartment.

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