Eiko Ishioka

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Eiko Ishioka
Eiko Ishioka.jpg
Eiko Ishioka by Brigitte Lacombe
Born(1938-07-12)July 12, 1938
DiedJanuary 21, 2012(2012-01-21) (aged 73)
Tokyo, Japan
Known forArt direction, costume design, graphic design
Spouse(s)Nicholas Soultanakis (2011–2012) (her death)
Awards Grammy Award for artwork, Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Costume Designers Guild Award

Eiko Ishioka(石岡 瑛子,Ishioka Eiko, July 12, 1938 – January 21, 2012) was a Japanese art director, costume designer, and graphic designer known for her work in stage, screen, advertising, and print media. [1] [2]

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Art director is the title for a variety of similar job functions in theater, advertising, marketing, publishing, fashion, film and television, the Internet, and video games.

Costume designer person who designs costumes

A costume designer is a person who designs costumes for a film, stage production or television. The role of the costume designer is to create the characters' outfits/costumes and balance the scenes with texture and colour, etc. The costume designer works alongside the director, scenic, lighting designer, sound designer, and other creative personnel. The costume designer may also collaborate with hair stylist, wig master, or makeup artist. In European theatre, the role is different, as the theatre designer usually designs both costume and scenic elements.


Noted for her advertising campaigns for the Japanese boutique chain Parco, her collaboration with sportswear company Descente in designing uniforms and outerwear for members of the Swiss, Canadian, Japanese, and Spanish teams at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City [3] and was the director of costume design for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. [1] She won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula and was posthumously nominated for an Academy Award in the same category for her work in Tarsem Singh's 2012 film Mirror Mirror . [4]

Boutique small, upscale shop

A boutique is "a small store that sells stylish clothing, jewelry, or other usually luxury goods". The word is French for "shop", which derives ultimately from the Greek ἀποθήκη (apothēkē) or "storehouse".

Parco (retailer) japanese shopping malls

Parco Co., Ltd. is a chain of department stores primarily in Japan. The first store was established in Tokyo on February 13, 1953, and since then the company has opened stores in cities all over Japan.

Descente Japanese sporting goods manufacturers and brands.

Descente Ltd. is a Japanese sports clothing and accessories company, first formed in 1935, when Takeo Ishimoto started the company in Osaka as Ishimoto Shoten. The company logo depicts 3 basic skiing techniques - traverse, schuss and side-slip. Descente owns a portfolio of 16 in-house, purchased and licensed brands, among them Descente, Shiseist, Arena, Marmot and Srixon.

Life and career

Ishioka was born in Tokyo to a commercial graphic designer father and a housewife mother. Although her father encouraged her interest in art as a child, he discouraged her desire to follow him into the business. [5] She graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. [6] As director of costume design for opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ishioka found inspiration from art pieces, such as Greek Statues and African helmets. As a result, a large number of costumes that are able to visualize fabric texture, actions, and aura were designed under her hands. [7]

Tokyo Capital of Japan

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

Graphic designer person who who assembles images, typography or motion graphics to create a piece of design

A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography, or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures (sometimes) and advertising. They are also sometimes responsible for typesetting, illustration, user interfaces, and web design. A core responsibility of the designer's job is to present information in a way that is both accessible and memorable.

Tokyo University of the Arts Higher education institution in Tokyo Prefecture, Japan

Tokyo University of the Arts or Geidai (芸大) is an art school in Japan. Located in Ueno Park, it also has facilities in Toride, Ibaraki, Yokohama, Kanagawa, and Kitasenju and Adachi, Tokyo. The university owns two halls of residence: one in Adachi, Tokyo, and the other in Matsudo, Chiba.

Advertising career

Eiko began her career with the advertising division of the cosmetics company Shiseido in 1961 and won Japan's most prestigious advertising award four years later. Eiko was discovered by Tsuji Masuda who created Parco Ikebukuro from the ailing Marubutsu Department Store. When Parco did well and expanded to a Shibuya location in 1973, Eiko designed Parco Shibuya's first 15-second commercial for the grand opening with "a tall, thin black woman, dressed in a black bikini, dancing with a very small man in a Santa Claus outfit". She became deeply involved in Parco's image. Her last Parco campaign involved Faye Dunaway as "face of Parco" wearing black, on a black chair against a black wall, and peeling and eating an egg in one minute as "a film for Parco." [8] [9] She became its chief art director in 1971 and her work there is noted for several campaigns featuring Faye Dunaway and for its open and surreal eroticism. In 1983 she ended her association with Parco and opened her own design firm.

Shiseido Japanese multinational personal care company

Shiseido Company, Limited is a Japanese multinational personal care company, that is a skin care, hair care, cosmetics and fragrance producer. It is one of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world. Founded in 1872, it celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2012. It is the largest cosmetic firm in Japan and the fifth largest cosmetics company in the world. Shiseido is only available at cosmetic counters at selected department stores or pharmacists. The company owns numerous brands and subsidiaries worldwide, in addition to its founding label. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, and trades on the Tokyo stock exchange, it is a chief competitor of SK-II.

Ikebukuro town located in Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Ikebukuro is a commercial and entertainment district in Toshima, Tokyo, Japan. Toshima ward offices, Ikebukuro station, and several shops, restaurants, and enormous department stores are located within city limits.

Shibuya Special ward in Kantō, Japan

Shibuya is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. A major commercial and business center, it houses the two busiest railway stations in the world, Shinjuku Station and Shibuya Station.

In 2003, she designed the logo for the Houston Rockets. [10] [11]

Houston Rockets American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas

The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles. The team was established in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston.

Film career

In 1985 director Paul Schrader chose her to be the production designer for his 1985 film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters . Her work went on to win her a special award for artistic contribution at the Cannes Film Festival that year. Eiko's work with Francis Ford Coppola on the poster for the Japanese release of Apocalypse Now led to their later collaboration in Coppola's Dracula, which earned Eiko an Academy Award. [6] She has also worked on four of Tarsem Singh's films beginning with the Jennifer Lopez starrer The Cell in 2000 and including The Fall , Immortals , and Mirror Mirror . [1]

Paul Schrader American film director

Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Schrader has also directed 18 feature films, including his directing debut crime drama, Blue Collar, the crime drama Hardcore, his 1982 remake of the horror classic Cat People, the crime drama American Gigolo (1980), the biographical drama Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), the true life biopic Patty Hearst (1988), the cult film Light Sleeper (1992), the drama Affliction (1997), the biographical film Auto Focus (2002), the erotic dramatic thriller The Canyons (2013), and the dramatic thriller First Reformed (2017), the latter earning him his first career Academy Award nomination.

<i>Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters</i> 1985 film by Paul Schrader

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is a 1985 American biographical drama film co-written and directed by Paul Schrader. The film is based on the life and work of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, interweaving episodes from his life with dramatizations of segments from his books The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoko's House, and Runaway Horses. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas were executive producers of the film.

Cannes Film Festival annual film festival held in Cannes, France

The Cannes Festival, until 2002 called the International Film Festival and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries from all around the world. Founded in 1946, the invitation-only festival is held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. It is one of the "Big Three" alongside the Venice Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.

She has also done costume design for theater and circus. In 1999 she designed costumes for Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Dutch Opera. She designed costumes for Cirque du Soleil: Varekai , which premiered in 2002 as well as for Julie Taymor's Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark , which premiered in 2011. She also directed the music video for Björk's "Cocoon" in 2002 and designed costumes for the "Hurricane" tour of singer Grace Jones in 2009. [4]

Ishioka's work is included in the permanent collection of museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Eiko won a Grammy Award for her artwork for Miles Davis's album Tutu in 1987 and an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992. She also received two Tony Award nominations in 1988 for the stage and costume design of the Broadway play M. Butterfly . In 2012, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Mirror Mirror and won the Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence In Fantasy Film. [1] In 1992 she was selected to be a member of the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. On July 12, 2017, she was honored with a Google Doodle. [12]



The 1990 book Eiko by Eiko collects her work in art direction and graphic design. [13] A second book, Eiko on Stage, followed in 2000. [14]


Ishioka died of pancreatic cancer in Tokyo, Japan on January 21, 2012. [15] She married her companion Nicholas Soultanakis in a hospital a few months before her death. [6]


Her archive has been given to UCLA Library Special Collections. [16]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Fox, Margalit (January 26, 2012). "Eiko Ishioka, Multifaceted Designer and Oscar Winner, Dies at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  2. "Costume designer Eiko Ishioka, recently known for Broadway's 'Spider-Man,' has died at 73". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  3. Pearlman, Chee (January 20, 2002). "The Way We Live Now: In-the-Zone Outerwear". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  4. 1 2 "The genius of Eiko Ishioka". HT Mint. February 22, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  5. Horwell, Veronica (January 29, 2012). "Eiko Ishioka obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 "The Image Maker". W Magazine. April 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  7. "UCLA Library News | UCLA Library". www.library.ucla.edu. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  8. The Brothers by Leslie Downer pp 239–240
  9. "Kazumi Kurigami - Parco - Faye Dunaway Hard Boiled Egg" . Retrieved July 11, 2017 via YouTube.
  10. "The Next BIG Thing". Houston Rockets. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  11. "Red's in fashion again / Web sales put Rockets' sleek new look before public". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  12. Rajamanickam Antonimuthu (July 11, 2017). "Eiko Ishioka (石岡瑛子) Google Doodle" via YouTube.
  13. "Eiko by Eiko" . Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  14. Eiko on Stage . Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  15. "Costume designer Eiko Ishioka Dies at 73". Asia Pacific Arts. January 27, 2012. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  16. Haley, Melissa (February 13, 2018). "Eiko Ishioka". Los Angeles Archivists Collective. Retrieved January 23, 2019.