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Akira Isogawa

b. 1964

Akira Isogawa (b. 1964), fashion designer, was born in Kyoto, Japan, and first came to Australia on a working holiday at the age of 21. Excited by what he saw as the country’s ‘fresh and youthful spirit,’ he moved here permanently, working as a waiter by night while studying fashion design at East Sydney TAFE and Sydney’s National Art School. In 1993 he opened the Akira Isogawa boutique in Woollahra, and swiftly established a reputation for his bold and intelligent clothes. His collections have appeared annually at Sydney’s Australian Fashion Week since 1996, when he sent all his models out wearing red socks because he couldn’t afford shoes for them. Since 1998 he has shown his Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections annually in Paris. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art and has twice featured in the Powerhouse Museum’s Fashion of the Year retrospective. At 1999’s Australian Fashion Industry Awards he was named Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year. Akira Isogawa: Printemps Eté, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2004-2005, was the first solo exhibition of an Australian designer’s work to be shown at one of its major art institutions; the show later toured to three Asian cities. In 2005 Isogawa was depicted on the ‘Australian Legends’ series of stamps issued by Australia Post. He has designed costumes for four Sydney Dance Company productions and for the Australian Ballet’s production of Graeme Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet.

Updated 2019