Anastasiabyraine traces its roots to the founder, curator and maker, R, and R is me.

I am a business entrepreneurship lecturer by day, and an aspiring bag maker by night. Contrary to the traits of an entrepreneur, I have always been dreaming of curating a fashion label to call my own, but never had the guts to do so. It was only after a decade of procrastinating, self-doubting, and a series of unintentional inspirations before I decided to be gutsy for once and started ABR.

MY DREAM OF A LABEL CURATION CAME ALIVE AFTER A DECADE

I was a business student, majoring in marketing for a total of 7 years. I always thought I really like marketing, until fate got me a twist when I landed myself in a branding and merchandising job in sports performance and fashion apparel business. I finally realised that I truly love merchandising and buying. It was also this stint with merchandising that got me exploring the arena of fashion and design.

Many of my friends knew that I have deep passion for merchandising, but perhaps, no one really knew that I actually wanted to apply for a design course in polytechnic, but was deterred by the portfolio interview requirement, and the fact that I was not a creative person to begin with. Unlike many other local talented designers, I was not gifted in design nor fashion. All I could do, or I thought I could only do,  was to envy others who have the privilege and opportunity to receive professional education in the fashion design.

I never had the courage to venture into design, let alone making the designs out. These two skills seem like a really tall order to me. Who would have known that as I moved into my first dream job of lecturing in a polytechnic, I mustered enough courage to finally kick-start ABR. My musing came from my students – they had so much passion and zest in them. I love how they showed me that being impulsive at times can be really liberating and exciting, that if we really love something, everything else matters no more. I love the mentality of “don’t think, just do”, because everything else will fall in place as long as we believe we can.

Finally, after a decade, ABR became my second dream come true.

The beginning seemed really daunting, and what made it worse was my zero knowledge in design and making.

When an overseas trip was unexpectedly played out with less than 24 hours of notice, I thought I would be too disappointed and upset to continue with the trip. Who knows that the first thing I did when I woke up was to grab my luggage and jet off, all by myself. I thought I should just be brave for once and take the leap of faith to continue the journey solo, despite all the baggage of disappointment, self-doubt and worries. I still remember how I roamed around the streets with no aim of where to go, but just wanting to soak up all the creativity and inspiration in a foreign place. What amazed me was how I found my first inspiration along an alley where no one would expect to be inspired in.

Since then, there was no turning back. The solo trip gave me a newfound strength and independence, and it compelled me to brand the label – Anastasiabyraine, abbreviated ABR, which signifies Attitude, Bold and Rebel. ABR also signifies a newfound independence and strength. ABR is a new beginning for me, and I hope that every curated piece will remind us of the capability, independence, and strength that we have within us.

The motivation behind curating ABR is simply out of the love for individual fashion and style. I have had my fair share of fashion disaster moments when I tried so hard to blend in with the masses and follow the trends. It took me years to finally found an individual style that I feel the most comfortable in, and that I am not afraid to wear it out on the streets. It took me years to finally abandon the security of following the masses (thinking that I will never go wrong), and moving towards creating and developing my own sense of fashion that speaks of my own personality.

Why should be stay ordinary when we are made to be extraordinaires?

I made ABR with two simple ingredients – passion and significance. Every piece handmade by ABR is fed on the passion and love for our very own individual style. Focusing on profits has never been part of the ABR equation. We are not profit-oriented, and we will not be.

BE A REBEL FOR RIGHT REASONS.

The journey through ABR has indeed been arduous and daunting, and every moment is a test of my faith, belief and trust, but I am so thankful for this journey, because it has given me so many opportunities to discover the beauty of collaborations and humanity.

ABR taught me to be a true rebel for the right reasons. The feather tattoo on my right forearm is a tribute to ABR for affirming my belief in breaking free from norms and stigma. ABR instils a very special attitude in me – attitude doesn’t mean being aloof; it means bearing the right attitude and respect for the right reasons, and having the courage to rebel and stand up for the things you believe in.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU

Your support, encouragement, and affection for ABR means the world to me.

I hope you enjoy this short but true story. Now, let me take you through the chapters of ABR with every handmade baby.

Thank you for believing in ABR.

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