Poppy Lissiman kicked off her eponymous ready-to-wear label in 2008 and then set up her stand-alone store three years later. Fast forward to 2014 and the Australian native decided to switch things up and focus on designing eyewear and accessories. Many celebrities have since been spotted wearing her sunglasses, including Barbie star Margot Robbie. With her popularity continuing to grow, Lissiman decided to begin a new chapter in her life last year and moved to Tokyo.

Bold, eye-catching and ethical would be the words to describe Lissiman. Not only are her designs top-notch, they’re also cruelty free. In her handbags, she utilizes faux leather and incorporates recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) fabric made from post-consumer plastics. As for sunglasses, there are several recycled acetate options to choose from. There is absolutely no fear of hurting the environment with the brand’s cute pieces.

TW met up with the designer on a sunny morning in Omotesando, one of Lissiman’s stomping grounds. She arrived in style, sporting a true Lissiman look. After a short greeting, she took us to her favorite spot in the neighborhood to talk about her love for the city of Tokyo and exciting moments from her life in fashion.

How would you describe Tokyo?

There is so much I could say about Tokyo; the one thing which always springs to mind is just how safe I feel in the city. When I first moved here, I walked home alone one night by myself and realized for the first time there wasn’t one inkling of anxiety or fear.

What was your biggest surprise when you first arrived?

I will never get over the sheer number of hair salons.

Where would you recommend taking friends visiting the city?

Dinner at my favorite restaurant — Narukiyo’s izakaya — followed by a drink and a dance at Aoyama Tunnel, then cap it off with a late-night slap in the face at Muscle Girls Muscle Girls.

Where do you usually find yourself on a weekend?

Trawling for books and old magazines at Daikanyama T-Site, Aoyama Book Center or the vintage bookshop strip outside Jimbocho Station.

Where is your favorite fashion district in the city of Tokyo?

The backstreets of Aoyama, Omotesando and Jingumae. A mixture of all my favorite designers and high-end vintage sellers.

What advice would you give on finding rare vintage items?

It’s Murphy’s law — when you’re looking, you won’t find it. I’ve given my number to a few of the vintage dealers in Tokyo to call me if they ever get certain pieces in — before they put them on the shop floor.

What is the next vintage or antique item you want to get your hands on?

If money was no object, then a de Sede DS-600 sofa in butter yellow. On the more realistic end of the spectrum, another Isamu Noguchi Akari lamp. I recently managed to score my all-time favorite Akari floor lamp off Mercari a few months ago, and it brings me so much joy.

For you, what is special about Japanese fashion?

The consideration and attention to detail.There is so much which is special about Japanese fashion design — from the bold avant-garde to the minimalist approach. The common thread which I am really drawn to across both genres is the consideration of every element — every pleat, every tuck, the precise location of a button or dart is so thoughtful and sometimes even unexpected in the best way. I know that sounds a bit over the top when talking about a garment, but it’s something you really pick up on with Japanese designers. The attention to detail is unmistakable.

Your brand’s designs exude a sense of boldness and individuality. How do you believe your Australian background and upbringing have contributed to your distinctive design aesthetic?

I grew up in Fremantle, Western Australia, which is one of the most isolated cities in the world. My mom subscribed to all the major fashion magazines, which I was obsessed with, especially as a teenager. I learned how to sew so I could make interesting clothes like I saw in the magazines. I believe that disconnect from the rest of the country and world has bred some unique thinkers and creative people.

Justin Bieber was seen wearing Poppy Lissiman Cherloi sunglasses. How does it feel to see such big names wearing your collections? Is there anyone you want to see wearing your designs?

It’s always such a pleasant surprise. When Justin Bieber wore the Cherlois, there were certainly some high-pitched squeals from the Beliebers in the office. If there was anyone I would want to see in my sunglasses, without question, it would be Elton John.

What kind of film would you like to see your designs in?

Probably something weird, colorful and iconic like The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky. I met him randomly on the street in Paris last year and was so starstruck.

You collaborated with British designer Zandra Rhodes recently. Any future collaborations or collections we should keep an eye out for?

After spending the last 18 months working on a collection with Zandra, which we launched in London at the end of June, I’m now planning on working closer to home. I’ve definitely got a few irons in the fire, so watch this space.

Find Lissiman and her work at poppylissiman.com and on Instagram.