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Furne One: The Multi-Awarded Homegrown Designer With The Theatrical Touch

As well as being a regional darling, his artistic couture creations have been spotted on Shakira, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez.

Whether it’s in the UAE, Saudi Arabia or different corners of the globe, Creative Designer Furne One, the brainchild behind Amato by Furne One, knows how to touch a chord with the fashion elite. Since launching in 2002, the accolade-winning Filipino designer, who partnered with textile expert Rashid Ali, has consistently been pushing parameters, turning the Dubai-based avant-garde label into a global one. Consequently, you can watch his sensational and theatrical runway shows in places like Miami, Toronto and London as well as Dubai, where he is renowned for ending Fashion Forward with a bang.

Whether you call his designs out-of-the-box, intriguing or unconventional, the message is clear, they are about cutting edge creativity, fashion as an art form and innovation rather than following trends and sticking to dictates. And it’s Furne One's va-va-voom fashion ethos that has enticed singing sensations such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to wear his extravagant pieces to stand out on stage or on the red carpet. He also knew just how to win the hearts of international supermodels like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks while featuring the label in “Americas Next Top Model” and “Germany's Next Top Model.”

Inspired by his mother and grandmother’s quintessential style, Furne One’s exquisite and ethereal designs always have a “silent touch of strength.” Some hallmarks include lavish materials like lace and silk, rare embellishment techniques and signature cuts. And through the visual and sensory experiences the fabrics and designs provide every season, Amato by Furne One, is essentially a label that always has different, new stories to tell.

We talk to Furne One, who has undoubtedly made a huge contribution to the Middle East fashion industry, to ask him about how he keeps his label evolving. We also get to know what every woman should have in her closet, details about the SS18 Luxe collection, his biggest fashion faux pas and his thoughts about the fashion scene in Dubai. 

At what age did you start becoming fascinated with fashion?
I think I started playing with my sisters' dolls and dressed them up when I was really young, probably about seven years old. I started sketching dresses at around 15 years old, then continued till I went to college. As a boy, I would keep to myself and spend most of my time alone with my imagination, sketching away dresses. As I grew older, I became a little rebellious. In time, I grew out of that phase and started focusing on my career and become the designer I am now.

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
My collections have always possessed that element of opulence, romance and drama. Recently I’ve injected hints of pret-a-porter to keep things fresh and young. I like to evolve with the times and adapt with my audience. Although the themes of my collections change each season, my audience still see that signature Amato Couture touch.

Do you have a special routine while designing?
I find the entire creative process very fulfilling as it is exciting, not just seeing the dresses walk down the runway. From conceptualising ideas and sketching the design, to the sewing and finishing, it still amazes me how a simple imagination can come to life. Being able to create a dress that people appreciate is the most rewarding experience for any designer.

What’s new in the SS18 Luxe collection?
Amato’s latest Luxe collection is inspired by the precious porcelain trinkets from the Rococo period of France. The pieces evoke the fragile and delicate dolls of that era.

Tell us about some of your favourite pieces from the collection.
It’s really difficult for me to choose one specific piece. Each dress is hand embroidered and special in its own way.

How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
My collections aren’t for the faint-hearted woman, but one who is comfortable in her own skin. I want the Amato woman to feel feminine, seductive and commanding.

What should every woman have in her closet?
Every woman needs to have a little black dress. It’s a piece you can wear multiple times without people noticing. It all comes down to how you style and accessorise it.

What’s the biggest fashion faux pas for you?
Chasing the latest fashion trends just to fit in with everyone else.

You’ve taken part in some major shows, including those in the region like Dubai Fashion Forward and Arab Fashion Week. What do you think about the fashion scene here?
Like the city of Dubai, the women have also adapted to the styles and trends of Europe and America. There are also a growing number of young designers in the country. The country itself has become a melting pot of different cultures and fresh ideas, which makes Dubai fashion even more interesting.

The Amato Luxe boutique is in Dubai Design District.

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