Issey Miyake’s innovative clothing line
Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collections were launched in 1993. Made from single pieces of high quality 100% polyester fabric, Pleats Please clothing is innovative in its process: the clothes are first cut and sewn together from fabric that is nearly three times larger than the finished item of clothing, then sandwiched between sheets of paper and hand fed into a pleats machine. From tube dresses to cardigans, skirts, shirts, or elastic-waisted pants: the clothes emerge with permanent pleats. This industrial process allows both texture and form to be created at the same time. Vertical pleating is used to create different effects and architectural shapes. Pleats Please clothes are very functional and practical; they store easily, travel well, require no ironing, can be machine-washed, and dry within hours. Shapes are simple, and the colors and prints diverse (a set of basic colors is available each season, plus seasonal colors and prints). The clothes’ simple beauty, comfort, lightness, and ease of care have changed the way many women all over the world dress.
For the first time, the story of this revolutionary line of clothing is being told. The concept of Pleats Please Issey Miyake is explored through a vast array of texts and images, tracing its journey from inception, through material development, to its public reception. The explanation of its evolution also includes, also for the first time, a section not only revealing the creation of the original thread — but also the pleating process!
Renowned clothing designer Issey Miyake studied graphic design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, graduating in 1964. In 1970, he founded the Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo. In the late 80s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that would allow both beauty and flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production. This eventually resulted in a new technique called garment pleating and in 1993, the Pleats Please line was launched. After turning over the design of both men's and women's collections to his designers, Miyake worked on the realization of 21_21 Design Sight that opened in 2007 in Tokyo. In 2010, Miyake presented a new and innovative line called "132 5 Issey Miyake".
Born in Tokyo, Midori Kitamura is president of Miyake Design Studio. Starting in 1976, she worked under Issey Miyake on collections, exhibitions, and publications as attaché de presse. She also manages developments, including creative direction of products such as perfumes and watches. Kitamura was Exhibition Director of "Bulls Eye Special 2008" at 21_21 Design Sight, together with Kazumi Oguro and Katsuhiko Hibino, and has been president of 21_21 Design Sight Inc. since 2009.