image Designer Akira

Akira Isogawa

Akira Isogawa is one of Australia’s most celebrated designers. Born in Kyoto Japan, Akira moved to Australia in 1986 where he studied fashion design at the Sydney Institute of Technology, drawing inspiration from contemporary Japanese design using vintage Kimono which he has inherited from his family.

Since 1998, Akira has shown his collections in Paris, where he presents Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections to international buyers each year. While he continues to maintain a strong presence in Sydney, where he has shown his Resort collections during Australian Fashion Week since 1996. He has two stand alone boutiques in Australia – in the Strand Arcade, Sydney and, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Since being named Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Australian Fashion Industry Awards in 1999 Akira has received a string of awards. In 2007 Akira was awarded the inaugural Australian Fashion Laureate Award for his contribution to the Australian Fashion Industry. In 2006 Akira received the Award for Fashion Excellence. And, in 2005 he was honoured by Australia Post and his image appeared on an ‘Australian Legend’ commemorative postage stamp – to name just a few. In 2017 Akira was a recipient of the Special Achievement Award at Prix De Marie Claire Awards.

Akira’s work has been fondly embraced by the Australian arts sector. In 2004/05 Akira Isogawa: Printemps Ete opened at the National Gallery of Victoria – the first solo fashion and textiles exhibition by an Australian fashion designer to be presented at a major national or state institution (touring thereafter in Singapore, Manila, and Bangkok). In 2003 the Sydney Festival staged an exhibition of his garment construction techniques at Object Gallery, creating the most successful show in the gallery’s history. Akira has also been invited to exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art and twice has been included in the Powerhouse Museum’s Fashion of the Year retrospective. Akira’s contemporary Japanese influence was highlighted at the Kamisaka Sekka Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2012, and in 2014 Akira’s work appeared as part of GOMA’s Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion. 

Currently, the Powerhouse Museum is exhibiting his archive garments including more than 80 pieces of his designs as well as vintage kimonos which he sourced in Kyoto.

Akira has designed costumes for four Sydney Dance Company productions – Salome, Air & Other Invisible Forces, Ellipse, Grand, and for the players in the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Akira also completed an eighteen month assignment designing the costumes for the Australian Ballet’s production of Graeme Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet, to tour the Sydney Opera House in December 2011. And, in 2017 Akira designed the costumes for BalletLab’s production of Ever.

Also known for his unique prints and textiles, Akira’s designs have appeared on Designer Rugs since 2005, and he has continued to produced textile collections in collaboration with Woven Images since 2013.

image Designer Akira
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