Issey Miyake is one of Japan’s most celebrated designers, internationally acclaimed for contributions to the fashion industry and the arts. Miyake is most well known for his technology driven, high-end women’s fashion and his research in the development of new fabrics and design processes. He is also known for creating Steve Jobs' signature black turtlenecks.
After graduating in 1964 from the graphic design program at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, Miyake worked in New York and Paris for a period before returning to Tokyo to found Miyake Design Studio in 1970.Throughout the 70s Miyake collaborated with a number of inventors and designers in developing many new fabrics, as well as applying cutting-edge technologies to traditional handcrafts.
In the 90s he developed a revolutionary garment pleating technique, which he utilizes in his “Pleats Please” line. The industrial process uses specialized heat pressing to create permanent textural and architectural pleats in garments made from “a single piece of cloth.”
Although officially retired from the fashion industry since 1997, Issey Miyake oversees the general creative direction of all lines produced by his company, including a half dozen clothing labels, a line of watches, and perfumes, among others.
In 2006 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize (the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize) for Arts and Philosophy. He won the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in 2005, a world culture and arts prize presented by the Japan Art Association in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film. In 2010 Miyake was awarded the Japanese Order of Culture, which honors contributions in advancing Japanese culture. As of 2012, he is a Co-Director of Japan’s first design museum and research center, 21_21 Design Sight.
Most recently, Miyake partnered with Artemide to bring his “single piece of cloth” design style to the world of contemporary lighting. True to form, Miyake’s first foray into lighting design melds form, function, and technology into cloth. The uniquely styled IN-EI collection features precision-engineered folds for sculptural, entirely self-supporting freestanding and hanging fabric lampshades.