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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, known for designing Steve Jobs' iconic black mock turtleneck sweater and an unused Apple employee uniform, has died at the age of 84, his company has announced (via Reuters).

(Image via Mark C. O'Flaherty/Financial Times)

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake built a prolific global high fashion brand and developed a unique relationship with late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs was impressed by Sony's corporate uniform, something the company had imposed since 1946 to encourage a professional look and forge a bond with colleagues.

In 1981, for its 35th anniversary, Sony commissioned Miyake to design a jacket to add to the uniform. The futuristic taupe rip-stop nylon jacket featured unzip-able sleeves that allowed it to convert into a vest and had no lapels.

Miyake Design Studio Sony Uniform Vest (image via Grailed)

Jobs apparently admired Miyake's jacket for Sony and asked him to design a similar vest for Apple employees. Miyake's jacket for Apple hit a stumbling block when Jobs returned with samples and pitched the idea of an Apple corporate uniform to employees in Cupertino, California. "Oh, man, did I get booed off the stage," Jobs told Isaacson. "Everybody hated the idea."

Issey Miyake Inc. Homme Plissé Black Mock Turtleneck (image via Grailed)

Jobs went on to opt for a uniform for himself to reduce decision fatigue and form a visual identity, deciding upon Levi's 501 jeans and New Balance 991 sneakers. He asked Miyake to supply him with a large number of black turtleneck sweaters, on sale from Issey Miyake Inc. at the time for $175. "He made me like a hundred of them," Jobs told Isaacson, adding, "I have enough to last for the rest of my life."


Sales of the black mock turtleneck spiked after Jobs' death in 2011 before it was retired from the fashion brand's clothing line in 2017. A revised version of the sweater returned later that year for $270.

Miyake died of liver cancer on Friday and a private funeral has reportedly already taken place.

Article Link: Issey Miyake, Designer of Steve Jobs Turtleneck and Unused Apple Corporate Uniform, Dies Aged 84


macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2021
i work for a silicon valley company and they flew us out to san francisco for 2 weeks for a new employee summit. one of the projects we had to do was a presentation.

one guy came to work in normal clothes, changed into a set of steve jobs clothes/shoes for the presentation, and then changed back. the cult is real.


macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
Los Angeles, Ca
Fine, I’ll say it….the turtle neck was not a leap in design language.
No, but it was an iconic look for one man. And that one man went on to change the world.

Crazy that a seemingly simple turtleneck and denim jeans could be seen as iconic but Steve Jobs pulled it off.

Even Zuckerberg and his t shirts don’t have that effect.


Jun 6, 2022
Jobs was a genius, but I don’t think the look was apt. Far too casual, I’m just thankful he didn’t wear shorts
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macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2016
Seriously didn’t know there was such a thing as designer turtlenecks until today! Makes sense though!


macrumors 68040
Aug 24, 2012
Spain, Europe
Issey was a genius as well. If you have ever smelled any of his fragrance line you would understand how ahead of his time he was.
Exactly, I know him by his fragrances. Older noses say L’eau d’Issey was reformulated several times since it’s inception in the 90’s, and that the original fragrance was really iconic. Even today, many describe it as a perfect office fragrance.

I don’t quite like l’Eau d’Issey even tho I like fresh and citric fragrances, but there’s another Miyake fragrance that I really love and I will probably buy this coming fall: Fussion d’Issey, a much darker and intense fragrance.

Rest In Peace.
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