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Fashion designer Issey Miyake dies aged 84

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake has died, aged 84.

The designer and founder of his namesake fashion brand died of liver cancer on Friday 5 August, the Kyodo news agency has said.

In a brief release from the Miyake Design Studio and the Issey Miyake Group, it added that he was “surrounded by close friends and associates” at the time of his passing.

As per the designer’s wishes, there will be no memorial service or funeral.

Miyake was known for producing the signature black turtleneck worn by Apple founder Steve Jobs and for his pleated style of clothing.

He was born in Hiroshima in 1938 and was seven years old when the atomic bomb dropped on the city. he was studying in a classroom at the time.

Within three years, Miyake’s mother had died from radiation from the bomb, but the designer was reluctant to speak of the event throughout his career.

In a letter sent to then-US president Barack Obama in 2009 in a bid to get him to visit the city, Miyake said he did not want to be labelled as “the designer who survived” the bomb.

“When I close my eyes, I still see things no one should ever experience,” he added.

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

Miyake founded his namesake brand in 1970, and he was one of the first Japanese designers to show at Paris Fashion Week.

In the 1980s, he created his now-signature style of pleating, which saw him become reknowned for his crease-free pleat designs and his “Pleats, Please” line.

In a statement, his 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. Always a pioneer, Miyake both embraced traditional handcrafts but also looked to the next solution: the newest technology driven by research and development.

“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.”

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