Who? Japan-born, Sydney-based designer Akira Isogawa combines western sensuality with Zen-inspired touches. He is a rising talent in fashion and was awarded the Australian Designer of the Year award in 1999. How did it happen? Isogawa's entry into fashion was accidental and occurred after he left his home country in the 1980s to travel. 'I arrived in Sydney without an intention to be fashion designer,' says Isogawa. 'I was visiting with my one-year visa and that allowed me to experience the country.' Fuelled by a strong interest in design, he applied and was accepted to study fashion design at the East Sydney College. Shortly after graduation Isogawa worked as a part-time tour guide, but in 1993 he opened his first boutique in Woollahra, Sydney. His debut catwalk collection in 1996 caught the eyes of international stockists such as Barneys New York and Browns in London, leading to his rise in the international fashion arena. Isogawa currently shows his collections in Paris and jets between Sydney and Japan for inspiration. What do the clothes look like? His recent spring/summer collection was a vibrant concoction of tangerine-hued separates with organza floral appliques and chrysanthemum embroideries, fluid long trousers and sheer billowing skirts. What does the designer have to say? 'Flowers were the source of inspiration for my recent collection,' says Isogawa of his spring/summer offerings on the Paris runway. 'It's about becoming a flower. People think it's passe but I wanted to combine a sense of prettiness with modern shapes and cuts in my collection and I didn't want a collection that was too edgy or avant-garde.' Where are the clothes available? Akira Isogawa is available at Browns in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan, Barneys New York and Club 21 in Singapore.