Away from the home country, living and woking in Paris, I looked at myself very hard and asked, ‘What could I do as a Japanese fashion designer?’ Then I realized that my very disadvantage, lack of Western heritage, would also be my advantage. I was free of Western tradition or convention. I thought, ‘I can try anything new. I cannot go back to my past because their is no past in me as far as Western clothing is concerned. There was no other way for me but to go forward.’ The lack of Western tradition was the very thing I needed to create contemporary and universal fashion. But, as a Japanese (person), I come from a heritage rich in tradition…I realized these two wonderful advantages I enjoy, and that was when I started to experiment creating a new genre of clothing, neither Western nor Japanese but beyond nationality. I hoped to create a new universal clothing which is challenging to our time.
— Issey Miyake, 1984 (via studiotenth)