Pioneering Fashion Designer Issey Miyake Has Died at 84

Leila Kozma - Author
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Aug. 9 2022, Published 9:38 a.m. ET

Fashion designer Issey Miyake has tragically died at age 84. Born in Hiroshima on April 22, 1938, Issey cemented himself as one of the most forward-thinking fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a variety of pieces redefining comfort, functionality, and the experience of corporeality. His life's work has served as the subject of several retrospectives and books.

So, how did Issey Miyake die? What was the Pleats Please designer's cause of death?

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Issey Miyake died on Aug. 5, 2022, at the age of 84.

Issey Miyake passed away on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in a Tokyo hospital. He was surrounded by friends and family. The Miyake Design Office confirmed the news of his passing on Aug. 9, 2022. Issey's cause of death was hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer.

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A trailblazing fashion designer, Issey experimented with a varied range of materials (including washi paper, rattan, and wire) and shapes throughout his career. Eager to reinvent the meaning of functionality, the fashion designer came up with iconic creations like the 1971 Tattoo Collection and the 132 5, or Origami Collection, that came out in 2010.

Issey counted artists like Christo and Irving Penn among his friends and he cited Isamu Noguchi, the Los Angeles-born artist, sculptor, and kindergarten architect, among his many artistic influences. Issey's long list of collaborators includes graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo, dancer and choreographer Maurice Bejart, and ceramics artist Lucie Rie.

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In addition to his work as a fashion designer, he also made costumes for dancers, participated in exhibitions with the likes of Yasumasa Morimura, Tim Hawkinson, Nobuyoshi Araki, and Cai Guoqiang, and made considerable efforts to create opportunities for Japanese manufacturers and craftsmen facing obsoletion. He brought international attention to techniques like sashiko embroidery, for instance.

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