Isogawa was born on December 25, 1964 into a Kyoto family where tradition was everything, discipline was high, expectations were fierce and much remained unsaid. Isogawa’s father, Hisao, belonged to a clan that was profoundly protective of its bloodline.

Isogawas had lived in the same location for hundreds of years but male heirs were in short supply. With Akira being a gay man, the birth of Akira’s brother, Takeshi, in 1960 was “a big deal”, marking the first child of its generation who could carry on the family line.

Akira grew up surrounded by kimonos, uninterested in sport preferring to spend his time drawing.

Unlike your garden variety fashion auteur Akira seems unfazed by fame, nor remotely interested in fortune. Everything he makes is done from start to finish in his Marrickville atelier. There is a sense of the ancient in the fabrics he chooses, but a clean modernity in the shapes of the ensembles he creates. He is a living embodiment of the spirit of Kyoto, where the ancient coexists alongside the hyper modern.

Akira is an anachronism in the world of high fashion. Unlike the other attention seeking peacocks and flamboyant provocateurs taking their bows on the world stage he remains shy, softly spoken and humble. In fashion he is the ultimate outsider. He appears uninterested in trends, or the amount of followers he has on social media. Just an artist surrounded by fragments of beauty trying to piece them and the meaning of life together.

This year Fashion Industry Broadcast decided to cover Sydney’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2018 by imbedding itself and its film team with 3 of the most notable labels about to show. We tracked their intimate journeys to the runway. Sharing their processes, their highs and their lows as the designers and their creative teams prepared for Fashion Week. In this world first ‘Anatomy of a Fashion Show’ series, FIB gives you a never before seen look at the three very different Australian fashion phenomenons that are Akira, 10 PIECES and new comer I.AM.GIA.

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Film Maker: Peter Betts, Stefan Varvaressos-Abdi

Author: Paul G Roberts