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Miyake, Issey

Issey Miyake was born on April 22, 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan. He studied design at the Syndicat de la Couture, and then became apprentice as assistant designer for Guy Laroche from 1966-68. From there he worked for Hubert de Givenchy. It was a tumultuous time in Paris with the riots and hippie movement and Miyake decided to abandon the Haute couture model to design for all people, not just the creme de la creme. He then moved to New York City where he worked as an assistant designer for Geoffrey Beene and attended classes at Columbia University and Hunter College. In the 1970s he left New York to return to Tokyo where he started his own fashion house named the Miyake Design Studio. There he honed his creative genius into some of the most ingenious, avant garde styles ever. The classic Miyake style shows both his Japanese upbringing, his classic couture training as well as his very practical, populist, and artistic style. He was enthusiastic about technologies in fabrics and worked with fabric manufacturers to come up with new ideas and textures. In 1979 he opened a design studio in France, followed by one in the United States in 1982. In 1993 he started a whole fashion line known as Pleats Please to produce fashion items that can be packed, washed and worn made from easy-to-care-for fabrics made using Miyake's own innovative fabric technology producing permanently pleated fabric that will never loose its shape. In 1999 he invented a process of manufacturing shirts and dresses from a single piece of cloth that required no sewing which was named A-POC, "A Piece of Cloth," Other lines came about: Issey Miyake Fête in 2004 which specialized in colorful women's garments developed out of innovative technologies. HaaT in 2000, a women's line, designed by Miyake's former textile designer, Makiko Minagawa. HaaT means 'village market' in Sanskrit, the word sound similar to 'heart' in English.