A-Poc Able Issey Miyake
At Issey Miyake they are expanding their presence in Paris, along with its womenswear collection, unveiling the next chapter of the A-Poc Able project as a continuum following the chapter showcased in Milano during the last edition of Il Salone del Mobile. We talked with Yoshiyuki Miyamae, the head-designer that guides the whole team of researchers and designers, who explained the origins and the evolution of this innovative program.
The inner meaning of A-Poc is future. Experimenting to find new ways of creating things. How this is developed in the A-Poc Able project?
A-Poc was presented first in 1998, as one of the first to incorporate computer programming to clothes making, and introduced a completely new concept of clothes making to create seamless clothing formed in a single process from a single thread. More than 20 years have passed since then, and A-Poc's design and making has evolved to match the times. To give an example of A-Poc Able's innovative design and making, the project "Type-V Nature Architects" announced during Milan Salone in April this year applies the concept of metamaterials to textiles to combine origami engineering and advanced algorithm technology, we have created a textile that transforms (deploys) a flat piece of cloth into a three-dimensional shape using only the heat of steam. This makes it possible to produce three-dimensional tailored jackets with minimal sewing. In addition, the development of this technology will expand the possibilities for the design of furniture and architecture in the future.
It started as "one piece of cloth" and then it evolved. How do you keep the original DNA?
"A piece of cloth" is also known as Mr. Issey Miyake's universal concept. From an engineering perspective, A-Poc Able's clothes are designed starting from a single thread, and we reexamine every single process of clothes making. In other words, our mission is to explore what Issey Miyake's craftsmanship is all about, starting from facing against “a piece of cloth”. We pass on the DNA of Issey Miyake every day at the site of our design and making.
The body is an essential element of the genesis of A-Poc, how it is essential also in A-Poc Able?
What are good clothes for us? The value of our clothes is not just that it is an original material. We put importance on creating functional clothing in which wearers can spend their time comfortably in daily life. A-Poc's unique manufacturing process allows you to design materials and styles in advance on a single piece of cloth. You can design items that match each others, such as stretchability and breathability, according to the movement of the body. The most important thing in our manufacturing process is that clothes are completed when people wear them.
Since the beginning every single step of A-Poc has been the spark for the next chapter. Which are the next ones for A-Poc Able? Could you disclose something you are working on?
A-Poc's design and making can be connected to any field. While working with various experts across all genres such as science, art, medicine, space engineering, etc., we will explore the future of clothing.
Rather than designing clothes based on a theme or image for each collection, we take enough time to research and develop each project. Instantaneous ideas and creations are important in the field of fashion, nevertheless we would like to take our time and enjoy respectfully making new products.
How A-Poc and A-Poc Able care about environment?
A characteristic of A-Poc's manufacturing is that one piece of clothing is woven into a single piece of cloth in advance. We can produce any quantity you need, whether it's 1 piece or 100 pieces. Through manufacturing methods suitable for small lots and a wide variety of products, it is possible to control and produce only the appropriate quantity that is needed in the market. In addition, the "Type-I MM project" to be announced in Paris will use a material developed by Sony focusing on rice husks as a biomass material to propose black formal wear as a new value of black color. We always collaborate with partners to select materials with a low environmental impact, and put importance on making clothes that can be worn for a long time.
The process is an important part of the project as this will be the categorization method. Would you explain it?
A-Poc Able does not drastically change either the theme or the design and style of its clothes every season. For example, we believe it is important to make products made from A-Poc’s unique process, such as Pleats Please, which can be worn for many years. Material making and techniques continue to be refined and developed. It is also an important issue for brands to consider sustainable manufacturing systems with suppliers who support our manufacturing.
What are you going to present this Paris fashion week?
We will hold an installation-style exhibition titled "So the Journey Continues." Many people are involved in making a single piece of clothing. We introduce behind-the-scenes of A-Poc's clothes making, which is difficult to convey in a moment on the runway through the latest documentary footage along with the magnificent world of music. Creating the unknown is similar to a journey or an adventure. I would like to share with everyone in Paris the joy and wonder of the exciting world of design and making.