Akira Isogawa (五十川明, Isogawa Akira, b. 25 December 1964) is an Australian contemporary fashion designer. He is renowned for his unique and innovative designs. Born in Japan, Isogawa moved to Australia in the 1980s to study fashion design. He quickly gained recognition for his exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail, and his designs soon became popular among fashion enthusiasts worldwide.
Elegant simplicity, clean lines and minimal embellishments characterize Isogawa’s designs. He often incorporates traditional Japanese techniques, such as origami-inspired folds and intricate embroidery. His use of luxurious fabrics such as silk and cashmere adds a touch of sophistication to his designs.
Over the years, Isogawa has collaborated with numerous high-profile brands and celebrities, including Target, Barbie, and Cate Blanchett. His work has been featured in major fashion publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, cementing his status as one of Australia’s most influential designers.
Despite his success, Isogawa remains humble and dedicated to his craft. He continues to push boundaries with each new collection.
Education | Early Years
He was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1964 and moved to Australia at 21 in 1986. Isogawa worked as a tour guide and in Japanese eateries during his early 20s. He was inspired by current Japanese design while studying fashion at the East Sydney Technical College.
Isogawa opened a store in Woollahra, Sydney, in 1993.
He gained international recognition by the late 1990s. His clothing is sold in Australia, New Zealand, and ten other nations under his label. He is one of the few Australian fashion designers with a store in Paris. Women’s fashion is the primary focus of his commercial fashion label, Akira.
The designs of Isogawa have been displayed in numerous significant Australian galleries. A catalogued retrospective of the RAT Party era is kept at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, where several of his extravagant costumes from his time as a student still exist. Additionally, he has created costumes for the Sydney Dance Company.
Isogawa won the Womenswear Designer of the Year and Designer of the Year awards at the 1999 Australian Fashion Industry Awards.Embed from Getty Images
Isogawa has also designed three rug collections with Designer Rugs, using prints from his fashion designs. The first collection was launched in 2005, followed by ‘Kisetsu’ in 2007 and “Hirameki’ in 2012.
Isogawa is passionate about animals, and his design philosophy reflects this. “I see myself as a kind person in the community. I know how our actions affect all living things, but I still find it odd that we would use such cruelty when there are so many man-made materials available.” He joined the Voiceless Institute’s council in 2011 to promote animal protection.
Akira Isogawa’s retrospective was presented in Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in 2018–2019. In 2020, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will host the exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, which features his creations.
In 2005, he was honoured on a commemorative Australian postage stamp, along with other Australian fashion designers, Collette Dinnigan, Carla Zampatti, Joe Saba, Jenny Bannister and Prue Acton.
In 2005, Isogawa was depicted on the ‘Australian Legends’ series of stamps issued by Australia Post and in 2007, he was named the country’s first Fashion Laureate.
Akira Isogawa – Wikipedia. (2021, November 19). Akira Isogawa – Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Isogawa