the clothing brand St Croix he wasted no time after the death of Steve Jobs, and it was not long in taking credit for the iconic black turtleneck worn by Apple’s CEOwhile announcing that sales of the $175 t-shirt allegedly worn by Jobs were up 100%.
Jobs bought two dozen turtlenecks each year, St. Croix owner Bernhard Brenner said.who also assured that the CEO of Apple even personally called the company to express his appreciation for the shirt.
A fable quickly debunked by a pre-published excerpt in Walter Isaacson’s highly anticipated biography of Jobs, revealing the story of a friendship between Jobs and the true artist behind the turtleneck, Japanese designer Issey Miyakewho died last Friday, August 5, at the age of 84.
St. Croix backed down, while Miyake quietly recalled the jersey in 2011 in honor of his late friend. However, it has been the garment, which has been off the market for more than 10 years, that has made headlines announcing Miyake’s passing, having brought him and Jobs together in 1981.
From Sony to Jobs
All began with a unique design project by Miyake for Sony Corporation in 1981. For the company’s 35th anniversary, its president, Akio Morita, commissioned Miyake to design a jacket for his employees. Miyake created a futuristic nylon ripstop jacket with sleeves that could be unbuttoned to become a vest.
Enter Steve Jobs. The CEO of Apple visited Sony in the 1980s and, in a meeting with Morita, asked him why Sony employees wore uniforms., according to the biography written by Isaacson. Morita explained to Jobs that after World War II, no one had clothes, so companies like Sony gave them to employees to wear at work.
Over the years, Sony uniforms developed their signature styles and became a way of linking workers with the company.
According to Isaacson’s authorized biography, Jobs wanted that kind of link for Apple. So he called Miyake and asked her to design a vest for Apple.. However, according to Gawker and other sources, the vest did not work well. The employees hated the idea of having to wear the same clothes. So Jobs, in line with him, transformed the concept of a corporate uniform into a uniform for himself.
“So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.Jobs told his biographer, showing a surprised Isaacson the pile of fashion stacked in his closet. That black turtleneck single handedly became Jobs’s personal uniform and created his defining signature look thanks to the vision of iconic fashion designer, Issey Miyake.
It was a fitting partnership for Jobs and Miyake, who built his empire on tech-driven clothing designs, displays and fragrances. Yet Miyake, who survived the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945, led a more nuanced life than a black turtleneck.
Before Miyake studied dressmaking and tailoring at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in 1965, he studied graphic design at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Of those two schools, Miyake creatively combined tailoring with graphic design to create his imitable origami-like garments that anchored his fashion designs..
Miyake became something of a textile entrepreneur. Drawing inspiration from Delphos pleated silk dresses of the 1900s, he created a fabric that would expand vertically with hundreds of tiny pleats. Its pleating technique incorporated a unique technological innovation, where the pleats are applied after the fabric is cut and sewn.made permanently pleated garments one of his enduring design legacies.
In 2017, Issey Miyake Inc. released what could be described as an homage to the original turtleneck removed in 2011, although it is certainly not a reissue. Designed by Miyake protégé Yusuke Takahashi. Bloomberg he described the $270 Semi-Dull T-shirt as having a “cutter silhouette and higher shoulders than the original.” Takahashi spent ten years with Miyake before leaving his role as art director for Issey Miyake Men in 2020 to launch CFCL.
Takahashi’s new brand is based on computer-developed knitwear made from certified, sustainable polyester yarns. It could be said that the use of state-of-the-art technology by the brand is part of Miyake’s continuing fashion legacyas is the famous turtleneck that Jobs wore.