Issey Miyake Worked With Sony's Computer Science Lab to Create its Holiday Collection

The Japanese fashion label is offering a range of city-inspired accessories for holiday shoppers.
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Maria Bobila
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The Japanese fashion label is offering a range of city-inspired accessories for holiday shoppers.
Issey Miyake's holiday 2015 collection inspiration. Photo: Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake's holiday 2015 collection inspiration. Photo: Issey Miyake

"We're always on the ground visiting factories and research labs to know what's out there," said Yoshiyuki Miyamae, Issey Miyake head designer, on Thursday evening at the brand's New York City flagship in Tribeca. "Sitting at your desk won't help with finding new techniques and ideas."

Issey Miyake's just-launched holiday 2015 collection, titled "Record," was inspired by staff photos taken in every city it has a headquarters, including London, New York, Paris and Tokyo. In an effort to push the envelope between fashion and technology, the Japanese fashion label worked with researcher Alexis André of Sony Computer Science Laboratories to extract the color palettes from those photos — a technique known as omoiiro — to create four different color schemes for the brand's new range of accessories.

Each color-coded city includes its own bag, necklace and corsage in Issey Miyake's signature pleats — introduced by the founding designer in 1988 — that are 3-D steam-stretched, another technique introduced by the brand in 2014. The pleats are woven into a piece of fabric before it's steamed to take shape, which, in this case, result in continuous flowing curves. The stoles in the collection showcase the same technique but in polyhedron shapes, which was debuted at the brand's spring 2015 runway show. (Still can't grasp what we're talking about? You can watch this sorta-trippy video for a visual explanation.) The process is long — very long, according to Miyamae — and starts with forming patterns and shapes by paper before it's finally executed with fabric to create new geometric-meets-graphic textiles. The final product proves that the tedious demand is worth it, especially if you're gift shopping for someone who loves interesting pieces over what's "of the moment."

The current holiday collection is exclusively available at Issey Miyake stores around the world. You can view the entire range in our gallery below.