Japanese designer who produced Steve Job's black turtleneck dies

Japanese designer Issey Miyake who dressed stars from Doja Cat to Celine Dion and created Steve Job’s signature black turtleneck dies of liver cancer aged 84

  • Japanese designer Issey Miyake has died at the age of 84 from liver cancer 
  • He was behind the signature black turtleneck worn by his friend Steve Jobs 
  • Designer dressed stars including Doja Cat, Solange Knowles and Celine Dion

Japanese designer Issey Miyake, who was famed for his pleated style of clothing that never wrinkled and produced the signature black turtleneck of Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs, has died. 

Miyake was born in Hiroshima and was seven years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city while he was in a classroom.

He began his fashion career in the late 1960s, working with couturiers like Hubert de Givenchy and Guy Laroche and his name quickly became a byword for Japan’s economic and fashion prowess in the 1980s.

His pleat designs were beloved by celebrities including Doja Cat, Celine Dion and Solange Knowles. 

Meanwhile he found fame after designing a uniform-like wardrobe of black turtlenecks for Jobs. In his biography of Jobs, Walter Issacson quoted Jobs as saying: ‘I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them. I have enough to last for the rest of my life.’

The designer died on 5 August aged 84 of liver cancer, Kyodo news agency said. No further details were immediately available.

Japanese designer Issey Miyake, who was famed for his pleated style of clothing that never wrinkled and produced the signature black turtleneck of Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs, has died

In 2009, writing in the New York Times as part of a campaign to get then-U.S. President Barack Obama to visit the city, he said he did not want to be labelled as ‘the designer who survived’ the Hiroshima bomb.

He was reluctant to speak of the event in later life. 

‘When I close my eyes, I still see things no one should ever experience,’ he wrote, adding that within three years, his mother died of radiation exposure.

‘I have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to put them behind me, preferring to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, and that bring beauty and joy. 


Meanwhile his pleat designs were beloved by celebrities including Doja Cat (left, in May 2021) Celine Dion (right in 2019) and Solange Knowles

‘I gravitated toward the field of clothing design, partly because it is a creative format that is modern and optimistic.’

His mother died of radiation exposure three years after the bombing.  

Known for his practicality, Miyake is said to have wanted to become either a dancer or an athlete before reading his sister’s fashion magazines inspired him to change direction.

Those original interests are believed to be behind the freedom of movement his clothing permits.

Meanwhile he found fame after designing a uniform-like wardrobe of black turtlenecks for Jobs (pictured) 

After studying graphic design at a Tokyo art university, he learnt clothing design in Paris, where he worked with famed fashion designers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy.

He then headed to New York. In 1970 he returned to Tokyo and founded the Miyake Design Studio.

In his biography of Jobs, Walter Issacson details the origins of the design friendship which led to the Apple leader’s self-styled uniform.

Mr Isaacson was shown piles of turtlenecks in Jobs’ closet. ‘That’s what I wear…I have enough to last for the rest of my life.’

Other stars to wear the Japanese designer’s creations include Beyonce’s sister Solange Knowles (pictured in 2014) 

In the late 1980s, he developed a new way of pleating by wrapping fabrics between layers of paper and putting them into a heat press, with the garments holding their pleated shape. 

Tested for their freedom of movement on dancers, this led to the development of his signature ‘Pleats, Please’ line.

Eventually he developed more than a dozen fashion lines ranging from his main Issey Miyake for men and women to bags, watches and fragrances before essentially retiring in 1997 to devote himself to research.

In 2016, when asked what he thought were the challenges facing future designers, he indicated to the Guardian newspaper that people were likely to be consuming less.

‘We may have to go through a thinning process. This is important,’ he was quoted as saying.

‘In Paris, we call the people who make clothing couturiers – they develop new clothing items – but actually the work of designing is to make something that works in real life.’

In 2009, writing in the New York Times as part of a campaign to get then-U.S. President Barack Obama to visit the city, he said he did not want to be labelled as ‘the designer who survived’ the Hiroshima bomb

In 2016, when asked what he thought were the challenges facing future designers, he indicated to the Guardian newspaper that people were likely to be consuming less

Source: Read Full Article