Skip Nav

Issey Miyake: 7 Moments That Define His Legacy

7 Issey Miyake Moments That Prove His Design Legacy Is Everlasting

Issey Miyake: 7 Moments That Define His Legacy
Image Source: Getty / Daniel SIMON

As the world continues to mourn the passing of fashion luminary Issey Miyake, one thing is certain: he leaves behind an immeasurable design legacy. Throughout the scope of his prolific career, he revolutionised fabrication, introduced Japanese avant-garde style to the west, championed diversity on and off the runway, embraced colour theory alongside minimalism, and pushed the bounds of "art as fashion."

Few designers are responsible for disrupting the industry and rewriting the design cannon in such an impactful way as Miyake. With a background in graphic design, and trained in Paris under top couturiers Laroche and Givenchy, as well as Geoffrey Beene, Miyake's unique education informed much of his work.

It's no wonder his design language captivated everyone, from the Olsen twins and Solange to Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. The late design maverick created with intention and always with a distinct point of view, which made Issey Miyake clothing so enticing. To own a Miyake piece is to own a piece of moving sculpture.

So many timeless design codes cement Miyake and his work into the culture. There's Issey Mikaye's bag, the Bao Bao, that is a cult favourite of the art crowd and street-style set, as seen on the likes of OG blogger Susie Lau. And who could forget Steve Job's infamous sleek black turtleneck, which was exclusively designed by Miyake? Yet another timeless Miyake signature is the striking, minimal product design of his namesake perfume bottles. Miyake was always on the pulse, always in touch with the zeitgeist even when he was years ahead of it.

From the signature pleated fabrication house code to his lifelong friendship and working-muse relationship with fashion icon Grace Jones, let's look back at six vital design elements and moments of the architectural designer ahead.

Latest Fashion