Source: CAFD

The newly-established Council of ASEAN Fashion Designers (CAFD) has appointed Bruneian Johan Johar as an ASEAN country counselor, charged with ensuring and inspiring the sultanate’s fashion designers to be globally competitive.

Based on a press statement by the CAFD, Johan Johar is an Investment Manager responsible for the Logistics and Defense portfolio for Darussalam Assets and currently sits on multiple Boards of Brunei Government Linked Companies such as Maura Maritime Services, Darussalam Pilotage Services, Brunei’s international Air Cargo Centre, and Royal Brunei Technical Services.

The CAFD was established with the mission to “democratize the fashion industry and level the playing field for ASEAN designers” in order for them to expand towards the global marketplace and thrive in globally competitive fashion industry.

Brunei Country Counselor Johan Johar at CAFD. Source: CAFD

“CAFD has been encouraging ASEAN fashion designers to carve a niche for themselves by being true artisan designers focusing on tailored clothes and high-quality materials and stay progressive on innovative technologies and digital marketing strategies with a focus on direct to consumer distribution models,” the statement read.

Honorary Chairman of the council, Datuk Kenn Yam of Malaysia said that the fashion industry has been dictated by tradition and conventional methods of marketing and promotion for far too long.

He noted how the advent of the modern industrial revolution such as the advancement of e-commerce as well as the increasing environmentally conscious consumers have transformed buying behaviours within the industry.

“There is a perception gap between most of ASEAN designers and global consumers in terms of the 4Ps; product, price, promotions and place of distribution,” he said.

“This is what the CAFD is going to bridge as an ASEAN organisation to help the independent designers to sell in today’s global marketplace,” he added.

Honorary Chairman of CAFD Datuk Kenn Yam of Malaysia. Source: CAFD

The chairman went on to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has “set a reboot button”, proving now to be a crucial moment for every fashion designer who wishes to sustain their business, this the timely paradigm of REthink, REinvent and REgenerate.

“The COVID-19 which started as a health crisis has rapidly evolved into a global economic crisis at a magnitude that most in our lifetime have never experienced. Many industries, especially retailers are facing foreclosures and are forced to close even as countries gradually lift their lockdowns,” the statement continued.

“The fashion industry, a major brick and mortar retail business, is one of the hardest hit. No brands, designers and even mass-produced apparel makers are spared. It is now time for the industry to finally rest its business landscape to be sustainable,” it added.

CAFD has recently anointed a new committee comprising of a group of leading entrepreneurs and professionals in technology in fashion, media and entertainment fields with influential business networks to support CAFD designers.

For more information, log on to and find out what REthink, REinvent and REgenerate can transform the business of an ASEAN designer.



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