What started as a hobby to fritter away the free hours of a full-time mother, built an empire of new generation of fashionpreneurs.

Malaysia; in the Shah Alam district of Selangor, emerged a woman whose enthusiasm is not grounded on fame or wealth, but to influence and empower the housewives, the young women, the out-of-school youths, the aspiring creatives by teaching them the techniques and secrets of fashion design.

Fashionpreneurship is a portmanteau we commonly hear in the recent years, from the two seasoned words in the internet today- fashion and entrepreurship. For Asfarena, fashionpreneurship is not only about making clothing or selling them, but it is the whole package which constitutes “Fashion”.

Asfarena Samion, is a 48-year-old, skills and technical fashion design expert who founded the school AsTech in 2007; where she also teaches, and secretmodest.my; a couture e-commerce platform she established early in 2019. Known and recognized as one of the ASEAN Technical Expert in her field. She brought home a Medallion for Excellence from the Asean Skills competition in 2010. Asfarena have come across many international fashion shows such as in Japan, Shanghai, and Brunei. This year she participated as a creative director for a Philippine designer’s show collections on sustainable fashion held in Italy along with 10 of her students. For 20 fruitful years and counting, success is looming steadily for this inspiring woman for what started as a past-time hobby to become an empire destined for greatness and legacy in the Malaysian fashion.

She was an accountant at a bank before she had to make a decision to quit her job at 28 to take care of her kids. While feeling bored at home after she finish her daily routines, Asfarena thought of enrolling herself to classes on sewing. She joined a class and eventually learned and applied the techniques by making clothes for her husband and herself, at first. As time pass by, she started taking orders from outside and news about her workmanship spread around the neighbourhood quickly. She grew her clients in no time. Locals and designers alike came to admire her work and she kept growing as orders kept coming. Despite her husband, an Engineer by profession, telling her that she should not be working to expand and take the business seriously as they are not in dire need of money, she continued with her venture and built a factory. While seeing her orders growing, with few branches in several places, the lack of manpower had her thought of training more people to work for her which consequently led to the establishment of the academy.

AsTech academy is offering step by step classes from basic knowledge of sewing, alterations and pattern-making to advance couture level, including fashion sketching. The academy has been fully recognized and certified Skill and Design institution to offer diploma courses by the governing body of Malaysian fashion industry. Yearly, the school produces around 2,000 students and mostly became successful fashionpreneurs. Nowadays, as the pandemic is still posing threats to public safety, the school has launched its online classes as well.

Students at AsTech
Asfarena teaching a student

Asfareena never stopped learning along the process. She also obtained diploma in Fashion in Bangkok, Thailand, Advance Tailoring and Draping, Couture in Indonesia, and recently got her degree in Apparel Product Development Textile from Textile Institure, UK. She also has a level 5 high education in sewing from a local institute in Malaysia. She went from the intention of learning how to sew to making patterns, to earning from sewing, became an entrepreneur, to finding new techniques in making couture dresses from her collaboration with various fashion designers in her city to the neighbouring Kuala Lumpur, to learning how to become a fashion designer, to becoming a successful fashionpreneur. She gradually climbed the ladder to the height where most fashionpreneurs would dream of and seems like there is no stopping for this iron-lady of Malaysian fashion. She received a certification as a trainer for Human Resource Department; where she was a fashion skill expert from 2007 to 20018, and as Vocational Training Officer for Skills from the Government of Malaysia.

Asfarena’s Sketch

What made us admire Asfarena more is her dedication to this craft. She admitted that her aim for teaching fashion in her academy is to help the students find themselves in the market and hand down what she learned to the new generation. She wants them to take the field seriously and not take as it is just for fun. She wants her students to graduate from her school fully equipped with the heart and skills of a fashion designer and a mind of an entrepreneur.

Asfarena travels around the country to teach her expertise to everyone who are aspiring to learn the skills and the trade. She received various awards and recognition of dedication to her work For most of her students, Asfarena is more than an instructor who can teach how to make patterns and how to sew a perfect jacket. She is a mentor, and one who empowers them to be successful. She guides them stitch after stitch, one pattern to another- to construct their dreams for a promising future.

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Get diploma courses on Fashion Design. Go to www.asfarena.com and start your dream to becomming a fashionpreneur today!

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