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Issey Miyake—the Japanese line known for using technology to drive design—has long since been a fashion pioneer. With a graphic design past, paired with high-end women’s fashion studio, the Miyake Design Studio, Issey Miyake takes simplicity to the next level by incorporating flexibility and ease in the form of pleats. The designer was the inventor of Steve Jobs’ classic black turtleneck, the Mock shirt, and even produced costumes for William Forsythe’s ballets. Although he announced his retirement from the fashion world in 1997, Miyake still oversees direction in all lines of his label.
Fast-forward to today, where simplicity is rich, and delicate design is cherished. Cultural influence reigns over new concepts, and fresh partnerships. Here we sit in the present day, with the like-minded dynamic duo behind Opening Ceremony (OC)—Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. They have taken to Miyake’s taste for years, and now, they have become one of the first stores to stock Miyake’s newest collection, Homme Plissé. For the launch of their collaboration, and to celebrate New York’s first Men’s Fashion Week, OC hosted a night of fashion fun to debut the new collection in their downtown Howard Street men’s store, and had a DJ, a slew of summery cocktails, and shopping to celebrate. Whitewall spoke to Lim and Leon about their partnership, and the similarities that the two companies share.
WHITEWALL: How did this partnership come about?
CAROL LIM & HUMBERTO LEON: We’ve been fans of Issey Miyake for many years. Traveling to Japan, you see that Issey is a way of life! When the opportunity came up to be one of the first stores to stock this new collection, Homme Plissé (pleats for men), we knew it was the perfect opportunity to work with one of our fashion heroes.
WW: What similarities (styles, approaches, important aspects of the brand) can you find in both OC and Issey Miyake?
CL & HL: I think both brands look beyond tradition to innovation in design, and also each encourages innovation in the way you dress for every day.
WW: What’s your favorite part about this collection?
CL & HL: We’re big fans of the Homme Plissé pants. You can get a straight leg, jogger, or cropped pant. They come in very wearable basic colors and are so comfortable, easy to care for, and have an easy coolness.