Issey Miyake – a conceptual fashion designer for the many

Noorin Khamisani

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Designer Issey Miyake has died aged 84, leaving an indelible mark on the fashion world. He was celebrated for clothing that responded to the body in movement and which was conceptual in design but also completely appropriate for the everyday. His garments were often based on simple geometric shapes made in finely pleated fabrics that resulted in new and unexpected silhouettes.

Miyake stood out from the fashion crowd in several ways. For a global audience, it was poignant and meaningful to see a non-western designer not only establish their own successful multicultural fashion business internationally but also propose fashion beyond the established and conventional silhouette, fabric styles and imagery.

There’s much for the next generation of fashion designers to learn from Miyake’s body of work, from his innovative reinvention of Japanese clothing traditions to his bravery in embracing new textile technologies and silhouettes. Perhaps most relevant for the modern audience was his inclusive vision, his aim of “designing for the many”. He demonstrated this not just through the design and cut of his garments but also in the models he chose to include in his shows and campaigns. Miyake always ensured that “the many” meant including models from underrepresented backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022


  • Issey Miyake
  • conceptual fashion
  • fashion design


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