IM-101 was a pair of sunglasses released in 1985. At the time its simple design of a line and two circles—a clear, understated graphic form—was considered one of the most recognized models of ISSEY MIYAKE eyewear. More than 30 years have passed and still IM-101 continues to convey a presence that is bold and strong.
The Birth of Special Re-edition Model: IM-101
It was spring 2017 when ISSEY MIYAKE EYES PROJECT set out to bring back the design of IM-101 and started the re-edition project. Despite limited reference of the original’s specifications, the team attempted to produce the re-edition model that stays true to the original. Through trial-and-error, titanium was chosen as the material as the team adapted the model for contemporary use. And as a result a lightweight, flexible, and durable model is born—the special re-edition model: IM-101.
Photography as the Starting Point
The original IM-101 was featured in many photographs. Among them, New York-based photographer Henry Leutwyler in his book DOCUMENT photographed the pair of IM-101 owned by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the young American artist of the 1980’s who appeared on the New York art scene and soon passed away (photo titled, “Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Issey Miyake sunglasses”). In spring 2017, the photograph was exhibited at gallery The Mass in Harajuku, Tokyo, where designer Yusuke Takahashi first saw the original IM-101 through the medium of photography. Looking at the photo, what he sensed was not anything nostalgic but rather the strength of creativity adaptable for contemporary design and the future. And this is what inspired him to embark on the re-edition project.