Akira Isogawa was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1965.
He emigrated to Australia in 1986 when he was 21 years old. He first worked as a waiter, and a tour guide. He graduated from the Fashion School of Australia's East Sydney Tech. College and setting up a store in Woolhara, a suburb of Sydney, in 1995.
He came to notice when Naomi Campbell wore one of his dresses on the cover of a magazine. By the late 1990’s, international sales and recognition established his reputation. His commercial fashion label, Akira, concentrates on women’s fashion.
He showed his first collection in Sydney in 1996 and impressed Joan Burstein of London's famous BROWNS who had discovered John Galliano and many others. She bought his whole collection.
The next year, Akira’s Spring/Summer 1997-1999 collection Satori, draw favourable reviews from leading media outlets, including The New York Times. The collection was purchased by the prestigious fashion boutique Browns. The Powerhouse Museum selected Akira to feature in its Fashion of the Year Retrospective.
In 1998, the Spring/Summer 1998-1999 collection Botanica was presented and purchased by Barney's New York, cementing Akira's presence internationally. This led to his first private showing in Paris at Royal Saint Honore.
Akira also undertook new projects with the Australian arts sector during 1998, exhibiting in the Museum of Contemporary Art's inaugural Seppelt Contemporary Art Award and collaborating with the Sydney Dance Company to design the costumes for Salome. Akira has since designed costumes for the Sydney Dance Company's Air and Other Invisible Forces.
In 1999 Akira was named Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Australian Fashion Industry Awards. In 2005 he was honoured by Australia Post and named an Australian Legend-his image appearing on a commemorative postage stamp.
Isogawa's clothes are now found all over the world. His clothes retail in 14 countries including his native Japan. Exhibitions at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and commissions to design costumes for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Dance Company have brough Akira Isogawa into the forefront of Australian fashion.