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Fashion designer Issey Miyake dies of cancer at age 84

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Revolutionary Japanese fashion designer, Issey Miyake, has died aged 84, his company has announced.

He died of liver cancer on Friday, and a private funeral has already taken place, Japanese media report.

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake was just seven years old when the city was devastated by an atomic bomb dropped by the United States. His mother died of radiation exposure three years later.
Miyake reportedly wanted to be a dancer or athlete when he was young – but that changed after he read his sister’s fashion magazines.
He studied graphic design at a Tokyo art university and then moved to Paris in the 1960s, where he worked with lauded fashion designers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy.

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He moved to New York for a short time, before heading back to Tokyo in 1970 to open the Miyake Design Studio.

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By the 1980s he was celebrated as one of the world’s most pioneering designers as he worked with materials from plastic to metal – and also traditional Japanese materials, and paper.
Miyake developed a new way of pleating fabric by wrapping it between layers of paper in a heat press.

A phenomenal success after various tests proved the pleats stayed in place and didn’t wrinkle, it lead to his signature Pleats, Please line.
His distinctive Bao Bao line of bags, recognizable for their small resin triangles, was celebrated for its engineering and was so popular that knock-offs flooded the fake designer market.

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Miyake became known for creating a style that was high-tech, yet practical and comfortable, and was a household name in not only Japan’s fashion industry – but on the global catwalk.

His fashion house developed highly sought-after clothes for men and women, as well as bags, watches, and perfumes – a bottle of L’Eau d’Issey, launched in 1992, was rumored to sell every 14 seconds.

His A-POC (A Piece of Clothing) line, which can now be seen in museums, used a special weaving machine that made outfits out of one continuous tube of fabric.
Miyake was asked by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to design his iconic turtle neck jumpers and reportedly made 100 of them, at $175 each.

He was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize for his dedication to the arts in 2006 and received the Order of Culture in 2010 for “remarkable accomplishments” in Japan’s culture and arts.
Miyake did not talk much about surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan’s revolutionary designer left one day before the 77th anniversary of his hometown’s bombing.

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