Born in Hiroshima, Japan, in April 1938, Issey Miyake was seven years old when the USA dropped the atomic bomb on his country.
His mother was badly burned by the bombing of Hiroshima and died four years later. But, in an ironic twist of fate, the American occupation of Japan that occurred after the attack gave a young Issey a first-hand look at Western culture.
Miyake had always wanted to be a fashion designer, and in 1959 he enrolled in a graphic arts course at Tokyo’s famous Tama Art University. Five years later in 1965 – he moved to Paris to fulfil his dream.
Miyake’s first fashion show in Paris in 1973 was a hit and by ’79, he had set up an arm of his design house in France.
Following his graduation he worked for Guy Laroche and then Givenchy.
Miyake opened the Miyake Design Studio (MDS) in 1970 and the following year he opened Miyake International Inc. and showed his first collection both in Tokyo and New York.
By the end of the decade he had a design company in France and the early eighties saw him do the same in the United States.
The major influence on Miyake’s early collections it is said was traditional Japanese folkwear and his use of pleats.
A Miyake trademark is the innovative use of both traditional and synthetic fabrics.
Miyake is a guest member of Chambre Syndicale du Pret-a-Porter in Paris.