Astou Montfort, Founder, Owner + CEO of AS’FALL
After having spent more than 18 years as a global nomad – discovering other cultures, languages, habits and customs – Astou Montfort moved to Singapore in 2017. Once here, she used this lifetime of experience as well as a degree in accounting to register her luxe-yet-ethical fashion brand AS’FALL that same year.
These days, the chic, slow-fashion collections are a hit with customers in Singapore and around the world. Notes Astou, “AS’FALL has been profitable since day one.” Her clothing line also gets high marks from Expatpreneur Award judges like Michelle McFarlane, who comments that its pieces possess a “soft, elegant touch using handmade material to complement any shape”.
Astou looks to her diverse French, Senegalese and Mauritanian roots for design inspiration. “My knowledge [in fashion design] comes from a strong Senegalese culture of creating your own clothes,” shares Astou, who was raised by her Senegalese grandmother. “She always told me, ‘You must be yourself and be true in everything you do.’”
The mother of two also credits the help of another family member – for introducing her to social media in Switzerland in 2009. “My little brother took my phone, installed Instagram and told me: ‘Use this. It’s the future,’” she recalls. But even though she acknowledges “digital is the future”, this woman with a business mind and artist’s heart says, “I want to do it without losing my soul.”
Learn more about the origins of Astou’s Senegalese-inspired designs here.
Started in 2017 by The Finder, the Expatpreneur Awards are intended to honour hard-working, successful, community-minded foreign-born business owners in Singapore. All winners must exhibit how their businesses help people “live well in Singapore” – The Finder’s own mission. This year, marks the fifth annual awards. Find out more here.
By Willaine G. Tan