Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dies at 84

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Tokyo (AFP) – Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, whose global career spanned more than half a century, has died at the age of 84, an employee at his office in Tokyo told AFP on Tuesday.

“He died on the evening of August 5,” she said over the phone, declining to be named and without giving further details of his death.

Miyake’s funeral had already taken place, “only parents attending” in accordance with her wishes, and there was no plan for a public ceremony, she said.

Public broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media broke the news of his death.

Miyake was part of a wave of young Japanese designers who established themselves in Paris from the mid-1970s.

He pioneered high-tech, comfortable clothing, eschewing the grandiosity of high fashion in favor of what he called simply “doing things.”

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake was only seven years old when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city in August 1945.

He survived the explosion, which killed an estimated 140,000 people on impact and led to the end of World War II after the bombing of Nagasaki three days later.

He founded the Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo in 1970 and soon after opened his first store in Paris.

In the 1980s, his career was in full swing as he experimented with materials ranging from plastic to metallic wire and even handmade Japanese paper.

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