The Bite Magazine - Spring 2019 - Issue 24

Jada Brookes explores the life and works of renowned Japanese designer Issey Miyake. bite designer profile Top Designer Profile F or someone who has never called themselves a fashion de- signer, yet has been designing clothes for over 40 years, per- haps there is something more to what Japanese creative Issey Miyake does. “I’m fascinated by all fields of design,” he told Icon Eye back in 2011. “Design as an approach to society; people; life. Even if it looks like what I have done has become fashionable, fashion to me is like the wind. I like to stay constant. I put my mind to making a product that people enjoy.” It is true that Miyake is not like other designers. He doesn’t work with mood boards or have inspiration meetings but instead conducts long and detailed research into materials, manufacturing techniques and has a continuous dialogue between him and his team. Today, the designer is known for his technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances including L’eau d’Issey, his most success- ful line. His unwavering approach to creation is the freedom to have ideas unconstrained by any pre-existing rules or framework. Even as a young man, Miyake who was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1938, started to embrace the elements of design when he would cross the ‘To Live’ and ‘To Die’ bridges, located near the epicentre when the Atomic Bomb dropped in August 1945. Built in 1952, the bridges were later renamed ‘To Create’ and ‘To Go’. He realised that design had the ability to inspire powerful emotional responses and hope after such a catastrophic disaster that claimed the lives of thousands of people. When the World Design Conference was first held in Japan in 1960, Miyake, then a graphic design student at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, sent a letter to the head office questioning why clothing design was not included in the program. His focus on clothing as design instead of fashion gained attention, which prompted him to begin designing his own clothing. It was such a success that Art Di- ISSEY MIYAKE THE DOUGH DOUGH CONC EPT