Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake a Japanese designer caught my attention mainly because of his philosophy to produce “designs that reflect and address the way people live today”. He graduated in 1963 and has been a world leader since 1970 and billed as a beauty maker because of his innovative ways to implement this ideal.  He has managed to combine asthetics with innovative manufacturing process. This he was able to do because of the advanced technologies available in Japan. More recently the Miyake business has many designers and now products include perfume and lamps.

folded paper                                       plastic lamp


What is striking is his press to improve the making and subsequent use of materials which have expanded to include manufactured cloth, plastic paper and wire from the 1980s.  His clothing is free flowing and non body hugging. Early designs made through Plantation had an added focus of celebrating craft as the basis.


One of the advertising promos shows images of people in developing cultures wearing his loose fitting and very colourful garments. Several design companies are linked to Miyake each with an innovative design principle. For example PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE is a commercial arm for the production of garments based upon permanently pleated fabric – an opposite process to that this, which is normally done.

pleats please





Another company 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE conveys the Japanese art of origami – a piece of cloth (paper) folded or fashioned into a three dimensional garment which can be returned to the two dimensional state (a flat piece of fabric, but can also take on the 5th dimension the form of the wearer.

Though philosophically Miyake aims to produce garments for every day wear, I notice prices (e.g. £275, reduced) mean that garments are way out of the reach of the every day wearer!


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