Irving Penn, for Issey Miyake

Irving Penn, for Issey Miyake

In 1983, photographer Irving Penn was commissioned to photograph Issey Miyake’s clothes for a US Vouge editorial. The resulting images were breathtaking, and surreal images of classic Issey Miyake silhouettes in a completely new light. The Japanese designer was so blown away by these wonderful images and claimed it allowed him to see his designs with a fresh pair of eyes.
This solidified a collaboration that would last for 13 years, Penn photographed all of Miyake’s biennial Paris collections, resulting in over 250 images that continue to be featured in exhibitions to this day. Although the pair were close, they respectively kept their distance from the other artists’ work, Miyake never attended a photo session, and Penn was never present at the Japanese designers runway shows. In fact, the pair never even discussed what they were trying to achieve, which is just the way Miyake wanted it. The main purpose for the collaboration was inspiration, and to be surprised.
Miyake once mentioned: “I was looking for the one person who could look at my clothing, hear my voice, and answer back through his own creation. I searched long for such a person and found Penn-san.”
Back to Editorials