The Designs of Issey Miyake April 19 2022

Issey Miyake is perhaps one of the designers that has best been able to join together the world of East and West. Born in 1938 in Hiroshima, Japan, Miyake studied graphic design at Tokyo’s Tama Art University, where he first started designing clothing.  After graduating, Miyake moved to Paris, where he studied haute couture and worked as an assistant for first Guy Laroche and then Hubert de Givenchy.  He was in the city for the riots of May 1968, which were sparked by a series of student occupation protests, and then spread to factories and ended with a strike involving 11 million workers.  The Paris riots inspired Miyake to create clothing for a wider range of people, a decision which led him to move to New York the next year to work with designer Geoffrey Beene.

Vintage Issey Miyake.

Miyake’s time in New York working on ready-to-wear clothing was short—he soon became interested in the momentum the Osaka Expo of 1970 was gaining, so much so that he returned to his home country. He founded the Miyake Design Studio that same year, a studio which was meant to be a laboratory of sorts for Japanese fashion. He showed his first ready-to-wear collection in New York the following year. Although he was still based in Tokyo, Miyake began to show his collections twice a year in Paris, and the shows quickly became popular throughout the fashion industry.

1986 Time Magazine Asian edition cover.

The cornerstone of Miyake’s designs stem from the concept of “one piece of cloth,” where he explores the relationships between clothes and the people who wear them. Miyake has also concentrated on innovative approaches to the use of materials ranging from plastic, paper, woven grass, rope, and wire.  In the 1980s he really focused on exploring these “new kinds of cloth,” and developed new methods of pleating, crinkling, and draping.

1984 Issey Miyake design.

Rice and Beans Vintage occasionally comes across an Issey Miyake piece that’s to die for, and lucky for you we currently have one in stock. Check out this black egg carton dress with a white racing stripe from the designers fall/winter 2000 collection.  It’s a must-have!

2000 Issey Miyake egg crate dress at Rice and Beans Vintage.


Written by Heather Cox for Rice and Beans Vintage.