Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dies at 84

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dies at 84

Fashion designer Issey Miyake, best known for pioneering delicate pleats, has died at the age of 84.

The Miyake Design office confirmed the Japanese pioneer passed away from liver cancer on Aug. 5.

Miyake’s design philosophy was simple yet complicated, often taking one piece of cloth and folding it into origami-like pleats to create lovely organic shapes since the 1970s.

While he dressed supermodels like Grace Jones as well as current celebrities like Kim Kardashian until his death, Miyake is also known for creating Steve Job’s iconic black turtlenecks.

See some of the late designer’s most famous celebrity moments.


BeyoncéBeyoncé wore the designer’s veil in her video for “Mine.” Beyonce/YouTube

Beyoncé’s 2014 music video for “Mine” featuring Drake included tons of beautiful, flowing fabric. The Queen herself contrasted an angular bustier with Miyake’s pleated veil.


SolangeSolange’s mom recreated a 1999 Miyake design.Courtesy of Saint Heron Records

Taking a cue from her older sister, Solange Knowles commissioned mom Tina Knowles to create an interconnected dress inspired by a 1999 Miyake design. The Japanese designer officially retired from fashion in favor of a focus on textiles in 1999— with his last show featuring 23 models walking down the runway in one interconnected piece of fabric.

Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate OlsenMary-Kate Olsen wore Miyake to the 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards.FilmMagic

The Row designer chose a vintage black piece that showcases all of Miyake’s signature designs for the 2013 CFDA awards.

Steve Jobs

Steve JobsSteve Jobs’ iconic turtlenecks were also the work of Miyake.Getty Images

The story of Jobs’ signature look begins in Japan, when he visited Sony offices in Japan and took a liking to their uniforms, which were designed by Miyake, according to Apple co-founder Walter Isaacson. While the vests Jobs and Miyake imagined for the Cupertino employees didn’t go over so well, the entrepreneur requested a personal uniform and received hundreds of black turtlenecks in return.

Robin Williams

Robin WilliamsRobin Williams wore a Miyake bomber jacket to the “Flubber” premiere.Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Another man partial to Miyake’s designs was Robin Williams, who wore a cargo bomber jacket from the fall/winter 1996 collection to the NYC premiere of “Flubber” in 1997.

Grace Jones

Grace JonesGrace Jones wore many of Miyake’s designs over the years.Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Model Grace Jones was one of the designer’s biggest fans and friends, having modeled in his shows multiple times as well as worn his clothes out and about frequently in the 1980s and beyond.

Kim Kardashian

Kim KardashianKim Kardashian wore Miyake in 2020.kimkardashian/Instagram

Proving that Miyake’s recent designs are just as beautiful as in the beginning of his career, Kardashian wore a matching silver turtle neck and skirt by the designer in 2020.