Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Akira Isogawa, 2003 (printed 2005)

Ingvar Kenne

type C photograph on paper (frame: 103.0 cm x 103.0 cm depth 3.2 cm, sheet: 100.0 cm x 100.0 cm)

Akira Isogawa (b. 1964), fashion designer, was born in Kyoto, Japan, and first came to Australia at the age of 21. After immigrating, he worked as a waiter 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. At Sydney’s Australian Fashion Week in 1996, he sent all his models out wearing red socks from Gowings because he couldn’t afford shoes for them; but he has shown at every Fashion Week since, and since 1998 he has shown twice annually in Paris. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Sydney’s Object Gallery’s exhibition of his construction techniques is said to have been its most successful ever show. The National Gallery of Victoria’s Akira Isogawa: Printemps Eté in 2004-2005 was the first solo exhibition of an Australian designer’s work to be shown at one of its major art institutions and later toured to Singapore, Manila and Bangkok. In 2005 Isogawa was depicted on the ‘Australian Legends’ series of postage stamps and in 2007 he was named the country’s first Fashion Laureate. He has designed costumes for four Sydney Dance Company productions and for the Australian Ballet’s production of Graeme Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet in 2010. Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences showed the retrospective Akira Isogawa at 2018-2019. Since the Woollahra boutique closed in 2017, Australia’s only two Akira boutiques are in the Strand Arcade, Sydney, and Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2017
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
© Ingvar Kenne

Accession number: 2017.143

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Ingvar Kenne (age 38 in 2003)

Akira Isogawa (age 39 in 2003)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Donated by

Ingvar Kenne (14 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds
An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds
An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds
An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds

Akira Isogawa

Inside the patterns

Portrait story

Iconic Australian fashion designer, Akira Isogawa discusses the development of his unique style.

Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009
Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009
Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009
Cormac + Callum Kenne, My Children, Sydney, Australia, 2009

Citizen Kenne

Magazine article by April Thompson, 2013

April Thompson explores an exhibition of Ingvar Kenne’s global portrait project.

Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.