Get to know Issey Miyake’s innovative A-POC ABLE line as it arrives in the UK

As A-POC ABLE Issey Miyake launches in London this week, designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae gives Wallpaper* the lowdown on the experimental Issey Miyake offshoot

A-POC ABLE Issey Miyake fashion looks
A-POC ABLE Issey Miyake, which will be available tomorrow (26 April 2024) in Issey Miyake’s London outpost
(Image credit: Courtesy of Issey Miyake)

’Total freedom’ is how Japanese designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae describes the approach he and his team take to A-POC ABLE Issey Miyake, the innovative, lab-like offshoot of the Miyake Design Studio that was first introduced in 2021. Unbound from the ‘seasonal constraints’ of the other brands in the Issey Miyake roster, A-POC ABLE is defined by creative and technical ingenuity – an ode, says Miyamae, to the boundless imagination of house founder Issey Miyake, who died in August 2022.

This week, A-POC ABLE lands in London (launching 26 April 2024), marking a rare opportunity to purchase pieces from the brand outside of its native Japan. APOC itself stands for 'A Piece of Cloth’, a concept that was introduced in 1998 by Miyake whereby computer programming is used to create pieces of fabric with a single piece of thread, the surface imprinted with pattern pieces and instructions allowing the wearer to cut out the garment themselves.

A-POC Able Issey Miyake arrives in London

Issey Miyake A-POC Able Collection

Pieces from Issey Miyake A-POC ABLE’s S/S 2024 collection

(Image credit: Courtesy of Issey Miyake)

A-POC ABLE marks a continuation of Miyake’s original idea, comprising not only an array of innovative clothing production techniques – from tube-shaped garments which can be cut to size by their wearer to ’Steam Stretch’ whereby intricate pleated designs are achieved with fabric which reacts to heat – but also collaborations with an array of creatives, from artists to musicians, as well as those from technological industries.

‘[A-POC ABLE is about creating] products through industrial creation that can be worn in daily life, while simultaneously engaging in multiple projects focused on long-term research and development,’ explains Miyamae to Wallpaper*. ‘Through our collaborative projects with various fields – such as art, technology, traditional culture, industry-academia and more – we aim to introduce the fascinating aspects of our craftsmanship to fields that have previously shown little interest in fashion or Issey Miyake.

‘We like to learn unknown things,’ he continues. ‘Finding new discoveries not only from within our own team but also from interactions with people from various fields, offering different approaches to enhance our design and making. Art, in particular, allows us to gain new perspectives on society and to see things from different perspectives.’

As such, to mark the arrival of A-POC ABLE in London – available exclusively at the Issey Miyake store at 10 Brook Street, Mayfair – a number of limited-edition pieces from the brand’s collaboration with Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino will be available to purchase. For the project, two of Nishino’s signature ‘Diorama Maps’ – intricate images made up of photographs taken on wanders through cities such as New York and London, which are then pasted together to recall a map – have been recreated as clothing using a jacquard weaving technique unique to A-POC ABLE.

Issey Miyake A-POC Able Collection featuring the work of photographer Sohei Nishino

Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino’s ‘Diorama Map’ featured on an A-POC ABLE Issey Miyake jacket, available in limited-edition numbers at Issey Miyake’s London store

(Image credit: Courtesy of Issey Miyake)

‘Mr Nishino’s work begins with walking, taking photographs, developing them, printing them in the darkroom and cutting the enormous number of contact sheets one by one – it takes about six months to complete the process of pasting the individual sheets and finally photographing them to create a single piece of work,’ says Miyamae. ’I felt that the process of his work was like weaving a piece of cloth.’

’[At first] we had great difficulty in designing a precise weave for the photographic representation,’ he says of the pieces, which comprise a reversible collar coat and a five-pocket pant. ’[But] we were able to give form to it through a process of trial and error, making full use of our past experience and expertise. The Diorama Map series, which is representative of Mr Nishino’s [oeuvre], is a work of much process, just like our clothes making.’

As for why Issey Miyake chose London as the latest destination for A-POC ABLE, Miyamae cites the city’s enduring creative spirit. ‘London is a cultured place where people have a high level of interest and understanding of art and design,’ he says. ’I have always wanted to have these people see our creations and meet others who share our passion.’

A-POC Able Issey Miyake launches 26 April 2024 at Issey Miyake Brook Street, London.

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.