Issey Miyake style
Source: Issey Miyake USA Facebook

Issey Miyake fashion designs from its USA studio.

Issey Miyake Built an Impressive Net Worth as a Fashion Designer

Kathryn Underwood - Author
By

Aug. 9 2022, Published 10:02 a.m. ET

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake died on Aug. 5, 2022. He launched his eponymous fashion brand in 1970, eventually growing it to its current 136 stores in Japanese cities and 134 stores internationally. Who owns Issey Miyake Inc. now that its founder is gone?

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Issey Miyake Inc.’s main office is in Tokyo, where it also has a distribution center and over 100 stores. Miyake became known in the design world for using wrinkle-free pleats and avoiding form-fitting styles. He even gained the attention of Apple founder Steve Jobs, who appointed Miyake to make about a hundred of his iconic black turtlenecks.

Miyake Design Studio is the parent company of Issey Miyake Inc.

Miyake Design Studio Co., Ltd. owns Issey Miyake Inc. Miyake launched the design studio in 1970, followed by the 1971 launch of Issey Miyake Inc. as its subsidiary. Issey Miyake Inc. was created for designing, manufacturing, and selling the designer’s clothing and other products.

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Issey Miyake clothing features pleats and ease of movement.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, Miyake designed clothing to allow for freedom of movement, often with “minimal decoration and detail” and avoiding constricting forms. As the Miyake studio website states, Miyake focused on the basic concept of “creating clothes from original materials starting with the research of a single thread.”

Miyake said in a lecture in 1998, “To me, clothes should not be things which confine or enclose the body…clothes should make one free.” This could be seen in the wardrobe of Steve Jobs, remembered for his uniform of black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers. His black turtlenecks were duplicates made by Miyake for Jobs, who had even tried to hire the designer to create an official Apple staff uniform.

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Pleats
Source: Issey Miyake USA Facebook

Pleats Please store in Soho celebrating 20 years in business in 2018.

His pleating technique was especially evident in his brand Pleats Please Issey Miyake. This brand featured polyester jersey clothing for women. In 1993, he patented his technique of cutting and sewing the fabric before pleating it.

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Miyake was the creator behind L’eau d’Issey, a light floral scent for women, as well as a version for men, L’eau d’Issey Pour Homme. His fragrances are made through an agreement with Beauté Prestige International. In addition to apparel and fragrances, Miyake launched handbags under the name Bao Bao Issey Miyake, as well as lines of watches for both men and women.

Issey Miyake’s net worth was substantial upon his death

Although Miyake stepped away from designing clothing about 20 year ago, he continued focusing on research. The brand he launched over 50 years ago made Miyake a multimillionaire, worth an estimated $85 million by Idol Net Worth.

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Issey Miyake, who survived the Hiroshima bombing, died at age 84

Miyake survived the Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945. His mother died a few years later from radiation exposure. In 2009, Miyake wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he explained he felt uncomfortable talking about the tragedy and “tried never to be defined by my past.”

However, he also wanted to promote reducing nuclear arms: “But now I realize it is a subject that must be discussed if we are ever to rid the world of nuclear weapons.” Miyake died of liver cancer in Aug. 2022.

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