Issey Miyake

Japanese (Hiroshima, Japan, 1939)

Born in Hiroshima in 1939, Issey Miyake established his design studio in 1970 and presented his first line at the Paris collections in 1973. He is often hailed as the first in a wave of Japanese fashion designers whose work gained international recognition in the early 1970s.

An expert in fabric construction, Miyake's trademark is garments made from one piece of cloth. He is known for using Italian silks and linens, unusually treated Japanese cottons, and Irish wools to drape the human body in elaborately structured swaths of fabric: he creates large, bold shapes that wrap, rather than cling to, the figure.

Miyake has used fashion to explore the relationship between traditional modes of dress and innovative manufacturing techniques. In 1975 he produced garments from a linen-and-rayon mix originally manufactured for wallpaper, and in the same year devised nylon-spandex bathing suits.

In 1993, the Pompidou Center in Paris exhibited pieces from Miyake's PLEATS PLEASE collection in BIG BANG: Destruction et Creation dans l'art du XX Siecle.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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