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Photography Friedemann Hauss

8 moments of innovation that defined Issey Miyake’s legacy

As the career retrospective Issey Miyake: 1960-2022 is published in the UK, we look back at the Japanese designer’s moments of fashion genius

Over a career spanning seven decades, the Japanese designer Issey Miyake established an unparalleled fashion legacy, one built on the foundations of innovation. From his technological advancements with lines like Pleats Please and A-POC, to his sustainability practices and use of Black models, Miyake was ten steps ahead of an industry often in need of inspiration. No one knows this better than Midori Kitamura, current chairman of the Miyake Design Studio. Originally introduced to the designer as a fit model in 1974, Kitamura continued to work closely with Miyake for the next 48 years, up until his death in 2022.

Commemorating a legacy like Miyake’s is no mean feat, and that’s why Kitamura herself has overseen the publication of the career retrospective Issey Miyake: 1960-2022, published in the UK this week by Taschen. As editor of the volume, it was Kitamura’s job to make sure that the spirit of Miyake was faithfully preserved. “We set out to create a book that would serve as the most accurate reference guide to the work of Issey Miyake,” she tells us. “Miyake left us with a clear roadmap to follow, going forward. We have and will always carry this map in our pockets as we move forward, always carrying his dreams and his vision into the future.”

To celebrate the book’s publication, we look back at Miyake’s most memorable innovations, from technical experiments, artistic collaborations, and the time he kitted out an entire Olympic team.