Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1738. He studied graphic design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, graduating in 1964. After graduation, Miyake worked in Paris and New York City before returning to Tokyo in 1970 and founding the Miyake Design Studio. In the late 1980s, Miyake began to experiment with new methods of pleating which would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production.
Issey Miyake had a long time friendship with Dame Lucie Rie, an Austrian-born pottery artist. She bequeathed to him her substantial collection of ceramic and porcelain buttons, which he integrated into his designs. He also developed a friendship with Apple's Steve Jobs and produced the black turtle necks that would become a staple in Job's signature attire.
In 1994 and 1999, Miyake turned over the designs of his collections to his associate, so that he could return to research full-time. In 2004, Issey Miyake established THE MIYAKE ISSEY FOUNDATION and in February 2011, it was approved by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan as a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation. As of 2012, Issey Miyake is one of the co-Directors of 21 21 DESIGN SIGHT, Japan's first design museum.