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 Tama Art University, Tokyo, before founding the Miyake Design Studio in 1970, Miyake’s creative base for all his work. In 2007, Miyake opened the design facility 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, also in Tokyo.
Midori Kitamura is president of the Miyake Design Studio and 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, working under Issey Miyake to develop collections, exhibitions, products, and publications, including Issey Miyake Pleats Please, also with TASCHEN. Kitamura directed the 2011 exhibition, Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue.