Legendary Japanese fashion designer dies of liver cancer

Legendary Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake has died.

Miyake died from liver cancer Friday morning in Tokyo. He was 84 years old.

The designer was known for everything from unique designs and fine fragrances to being the creator behind the statement black turtlenecks worn by Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Miyake’s company confirmed that a private funeral has already taken place.

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake was 7 years old when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city during World War II. He discussed the bombing as an adult with The New York Times in 2009, mentioning that he didn’t want to be known as “the designer who survived the atomic bomb.”

In 1971, the first Issey Miyake collection launched in New York, and shortly after, was shown during Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 1973.

Through the years, the company has displayed everything from extraordinary textures and eclectic styles to chic modern everyday wear.

In Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple co-creator, Jobs said he had enough of his statement-making Issey Miyake black turtlenecks to last a lifetime. The designer made him more than 100 sweaters that he paired with jeans as his uniform until the day he died.

On Tuesday, fans and fashion industry notables started sharing their condolences for Miyake on social media.

“Farewell, Issey Miyake, sculptor of cloth. Comfort dressing has never been so chic,” tweeted New York Times and INYT fashion director/critic Vanessa Friedman.

Fashion and costume historian Shelby Ivey Christie also chimed in, saying, “What a great legacy to leave behind. Innovation, thoughtful design without compromising his culture’s influence, true originality + the inspo for a House. Iconic, Issey Miyake.”

“MIYAKE broke the boundaries between East and West and pursued ‘the body, the fabric covering it and a comfortable relationship between the two’ as a fundamental concept, both shocking and resonating with people the world over,” the company said on its website.

Miyake handed over design duties to his associate, Naoki Takizawa, now a design director at Uniqlo, in 1999. The brand is current led by Satoshi Kondo, who took over as design director for the brand’s spring/summer 2020 collection.

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