(Photo Credit -- AP/World Wide Photos)I was browsing through the Mochi Blog when I came upon the post about fashion designer Issey Miyake's op-ed piece in the July 13th, 2009 edition of the New York Times.
The truth is, before reading the piece, I only knew about Miyake through the labels under his name and his truly fascinating research in design (yes, he does research for garment design!) and technology -- the revolution of the pleat, for example.
I did not know that he was born in Hiroshima, Japan, where the atomic bomb was dropped when he was seven years old. His mother died of radiation exposure shortly afterward.
I have never chosen to share my memories or thoughts of that day. I have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to put them behind me, preferring to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, and that bring beauty and joy. I gravitated toward the field of clothing design, partly because it is a creative format that is modern and optimistic.
I tried never to be defined by my past. I did not want to be labeled “the designer who survived the atomic bomb,” and therefore I have always avoided questions about Hiroshima. They made me uncomfortable.
In the piece, he urges President Obama to attend Universal Peace Day in Hiroshima on August 6th, as a "real and a symbolic step toward creating a world that knows no fear of nuclear threat."
While reading his words, I realized just how important it is to stay on top of current events -- and to never forget the past. And while that can definitely apply to fashion's tendency to recycle the past and reinvent the present, it also applies on a graver scale -- for the sake of others.