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Behind AS’FALL with Astou (Part.1)

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Astou’s own creations and independent fashion designers collections were the main articles to see in her a unique retail boutique. Her passion and dedication have made of AS’FALL a respected reference for the fashion designer scene. New countries, new way of life, different culture, Astou knows how to listen to any woman.

Why AS’FALL?

It’s my name. I was raised by my maternal grandmother, she was the only one who called me As’Fall and when she called me that, it was usually because I did something wrong. The funny thing is that she was the only one who called me that and since she passed away, my mother started to often call me by As’Fall.

We were just looking for a name, I couldn’t find anything, so one day I said “Well, I’ll call it As’Fall”. My full name is Astou Fall so we just contracted it.

What brought you to Singapore?

I didn’t know Asia at all. In France, the concept of my shop is starting to disappear because it’s not easy to be 100% focused on one only brand as we are 100% AS’FALL. There are a lot of small shops in this spirit but they are multi-brands which are entrepreneurs who buy different brands and resell in their shops, it’s not pure creation like I do. After Lausanne, we went to Miami for some years and then we came here in Singapore. Each time, we realized that everyone can take their place, you just have to bring something different with a certain quality where there is demand. I also already knew the steps. Singapore is the third country where I created AS’FALL, even if at the time there were some problems, I took the time to do it so it was done quite quietly and smoothly.

Why Haji Lane? Was it a choice or a chance?

It was a choice! I used to walk down the street and loved it at the time but since the Covid, 17 shops have closed down. It’s expensive and when we were in the pandemic, if you didn’t have your own customers, you couldn’t keep going so a lot of shops closed down as they were running a lot with tourists. There are a lot of tourists who come to this street in normal times. Haji Lane for me, is one of the places in Singapore where you can feel the life and it’s full of people! Normally there’s music, set-ups everywhere with bars and restaurants and the mosque area so it’s unique. The street is also full of street art and I really like it. In Miami, we were also in a neighborhood a bit like that but much bigger with street art which I like a lot.

How was AS’FALL created? Why a clothing line?

I’ll try to summarise because the story is long! At the beginning I was working in Paris in business management for an architect. I was in charge of the financial and administrative side and I worked there for 5 years after graduating. Then my husband and I decided to leave because it rained too much in Paris. We went to Cuba for 6 years far from the rain. Very quickly, after a few months, I met a very talented woman with magic hands in sewing and she taught me everything. I only knew fashion through modelling. For years, my older sister and I did a lot of modelling in Paris and that’s how we discovered fashion. Later on, this Cuban woman taught me all the secrets of couture. So when we left Cuba I said to myself “I’m not going to get back into management, it’s not for me”. And I created AS’FALL. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t something I had in mind and if I had told my parents at the time that I was going to study fashion, they wouldn’t have let me. Today, they see that you can make a very good living with fashion. So here is a great summary of how AS’FALL was born.

What is the inspiration for your designs?

The designs are just created like that, it’s the fabric that inspires me. I have ideas and when I see and touch the fabrics, I just think that this dress would be perfect with this or this fabric. I also often work with pieces that are 90% timeless and it’s important. My daughter is 20 years old and when she comes back on holiday, she wears AS’FALL’s clothes and I think it’s cool because it means that it’s not has-been. When girls have parties, they ask me. A lot of girls come to AS’FALL for their graduation dresses. It’s timeless and speaks to many generations from my daughter’s age to 70. In fact, my oldest customer is 74. The designs come to me as I go along. I always do capsule collections between 5 and 10 designs each time I have a very clear idea of what I’m going to release. The collection I just released today has 10 designs and in small quantities. When I see that a certain piece has sold well, I do it again but I always change something: either the fabric or the details.

To say, at the moment I think I have 200/300m of fabric and I honestly don’t know what to do with it. I liked them, they were delivered to me and now I don’t know what to do with it. But I’m sure one day I’ll wake up and I’ll know what to do. It’s a feeling, a spontaneous inspiration. Our team is made up of 5 people now and we pay attention and listen a lot to our clients so we take the good and bad feedback. From there I create my designs with their feedbacks in mind.

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