Issey Miyake: Fashion world and fans mourn death of iconic Japanese designer

Japanese designer Issey Miyake  (AFP via Getty Images)
Japanese designer Issey Miyake (AFP via Getty Images)

The fashion industry is mourning the loss of Japanese designer Issey Miyake, who has died at the age of 84.

According to the Kyodo news agency, Miyake died of liver cancer on Friday 5 August while “surrounded by close friends and associates”.

There will be no memorial service or funeral as per the designer’s wishes, a brief release from the Miyake Design Studio and the Issey Miyake Group said.

Tributes to the industry giant, whose signature pleated style of clothing is instantly recognisable, have begun pouring in from fashion editors, designers and fans.

Tianwei Zhang, WWD magazine’s London and China market editor, posted a photograph of a young Miyake on his Instagram account and wrote: “Rest in Peace.”

Meanwhile, Jirat Subpisankul, style director of Vogue Thailand, shared an editorial image of one of Miyake’s creations and wrote in the caption: “R.I.P. Mr Issey Miyake. Your work stays forever.”

Fans of the designer also took to Twitter to pay tribute, with one person tweeting: “RIP Issey Miyake legends never die.”

Another said: “Very sad news... One of my top favourite designers with innovative designs. His legacy will be everlasting.”

Miyake was born in Hiroshima in 1938 and was aged seven when the US detonated an atomic bomb over the city on 6 August 1945.

He previously said in a letter to former US president Barack Obama in 2009 that when he closed his eyes, he “still see[s] things no one should ever experience”.

His namesake fashion house said: “Never one to embrace trends, Miyake’s dynamic spirit was driven by a relentless curiosity and desire to convey joy through the medium of design.

“He never once stepped back from his love, the process of making things. He continued to work with his teams, creating new designs and supervising all collections under the various Issey Miyake labels. His spirit of joy, empowerment and beauty will be carried on by the next generations.”