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Meet Farhanna, the visionary behind Na Forrer

Naforrer Prof2Farhanna Pura is an analyst by day and fashion designer by night. She's the visionary and chief-everything-officer behind the online boutique, Na Forrer. She was a panellist in the Reality of Women in Business eBunda Cafe session in 2011, and in April 2013, Na Forrer was showcased in the United Kingdom at the Regent's College Fashion Week. Check out Na Forrer online and follow her journey on Instagram and FB.

Describe yourself in a few words.
I am a random odd individual with big dreams.

Tell us about Na Forrer.
Na Forrer was born in May 2010. It first started as an online boutique showcasing one piece Ready-To-Wear outfits designed for stylish young professionals between the ages of 18 to 35. The website itself had an automated pay system. Though, I found out that most Bruneians do not favour the idea of using their credit cards online.

Most of my clients are career women, who often want to look good for events and dinners. Most complained that they could not find decent outfits for an occasion. This is also because most Bruneian ladies have unique shapes and sizes. With this, Made to Measure has become the main business of Na Forrer and the website is now a platform to showcase designs.

Social Media has been good to me. Instagram and Facebook have always been the mediums used to contact and view some of designs as most designs can be found on the website itself. Because I married a handy man and a talented web designer, my husband has been maintaining the website which enables the business to be known and exposed to the International market. My current clients are from Brunei, Singapore and London.

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Let's take a step back; where does the name "Na Forrer" come from?
The label name Na Forrer is a combination of my nickname, Nana and my surname Pura (it doesn't sound like Forrer yet but let me get to that). I wanted something that screams "couture". My father was named after my grandfather's colleague, Forrer which was stated in his birth cert (Ak Mohd Forrer) but grandmother decided to Malay-fy his name to Pura. That's how Na Forrer came about.

What is the inspiration behind your designs?
My collections and designs are inspired by seasons. For example if it is time for Spring-Summer, I bring out bright colors and crazy colorful graphics. I am not really an “on trend” type of designer. I would go for something with style that flatters a woman's body. Celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Richie are my go to for style inspiration.

Most times, I would assess the customer's personality that matches their style to create the perfect outfit for them. So, I feel my clients are also part of my inspiration.

How would you describe the style of Na Forrer?
The Na Forrer garment has a strong and bold element to it. Infusing modern and trendy designs, the silhouette and cut stays traditional and classy to flatter the woman's body. 

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What does Creativity mean to you?
Creativity is keeping it simple yet unique. That is really hard to achieve. I normally go with my gut.

Share some personal Creativity 'boosters'.
I get really inspired from fashion blogs and magazines. This is where I do most of my research and yep, it gives me the high to create and design something new the very same time. I sometimes do this when I am in a cafe or restaurant especially with magazines lying around. I have a sketchbook app so I sketch on the go. When I am home, I would have "beachy" music in the background to calm my anxiety and get the thoughts flowing (lol).

Do you work on all pieces yourself or do you have a team you work with?
Currently, I do not have a team. This means, I design all things Na Forrer. I do have plans in employing a team as the business is growing.

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Share some highlights from your journey so far.
2013 has been quite a good year for Na Forrer. In April 2013, Na Forrer was showcased in United Kingdom at the Regent's College Fashion Week. The theme was "Embracing British Fashion". Here, I decided to showcase dresses from different types of women's wear: Evening dresses, Tea Party, Kaftans and Cocktail dresses. Na Forrer showcased eight pieces of women's wear and two menswear samples. I was very proud to represent Brunei alongside other International designers; Brunei and its "hidden" creative industries have not been mentioned as much to the outside world and. I was not only presenting fashion but also the business women in Brunei.

Also, Na Forrer was interviewed by Wallpaper Magazine (Thai Edition) in early October 2013 for their "Art in Asean" issue. This issue consist of a few artist and designers from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. My latest collection (Holiday Collection '13) was featured.

Any tips for other aspiring local designers?
Research has always been a huge part in design. Without doing research, you might not get good response. Also, be bold. Never say never!

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