Issey Miyake’s creativity and seemingly boundless imagination are so intimidating that they can be difficult to digest all at once. His life is almost non-linear, as though it operates outside the basic rules of space and time—an ethereal quality that extends to his designs. Is it more comforting to follow tiny narrative inroads into the imposing tangle of his larger life, to remember that he designed every black turtleneck that the tech evangelist Steve Jobs wore as his uniform, or to discover that his collaboration with Irving Penn on those unnerving, iconic images took fourteen years? Unorthodox pairings, however, are particularly ordinary for the enigmatic designer. Miyake has closely worked with craftswomen in the Miyagi prefecture in Northern Japan, the ceramicist Dame Lucie Rie, Nobuyoshi Araki, Hubert de Givenchy in the ‘60s, and the 1992 Lithuanian Olympics team. He has collaborated with architects, curators, artists, product designers, and artisans, acting as a glue between disparate practices and drawing them closer together. The designer’s infinite curiosity and endless experimentation make him one of the most brilliant design minds of our time.

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