Furne One puts on a show by emblazing his ramps with spiked dresses embellished with beads and gems, walks his models in masked faces with extraordinary mouthpieces showing a futuristic view, never failing to give awe to his audience.
“I think it’s just every designer has [his/her] own style,” says the Dubai based designer and owner of brand, Amato Couture.
Having established his name in the unfolding industry of fashion, One still continues to mesmerize fashion enthusiasts with his intricate and sophisticated designs and styles of dresses or what is well-known today as Amato Couture.
“I guess it’s a little bit of everything. Its part Victorian, part Art Deco, and part Cosmic Wiccan with just a dab of neo-gothic influence thrown in. It’s also very electric as I use multiple embellishments that individually don’t exactly work together but works as a cohesive whole,” described One when asked how he calls his designs.
A mainstay at the Dubai Fashion Week (DFW) event, One tells Al Arabiya that it is a momentous event for every designer.
“DFW is a nice event to showcase your latest creations. It does help to put your name in the fashion world,” he said.
Over the years he has spent in the fashion industry, One has joined various fashion events in the Middle East. “I joined Dubai Fashion Fiesta, Gulf Connoisseur Anniversary shows and other bridal affairs both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” he said.
One explains why he chose the Italian word, Amato, as his label: “Amato means ‘beloved’ or equivalent to sweetheart, it sounded cool plus it’s catchy and easy to remember. Most of all it has a sense of romance and glamour.”
The 44-year-old Filipino, who was born in the city of Cebu in the Philippines, has opened up his own boutique in 2002 in the emirate of Dubai and has launched another in Los Angeles this year.
One told Al Arabiya that the reason why he chose Dubai to open his first boutique: “Dubai is like the New York [of Middle East], [it has a] multi-racial and multi-cultural aspect.”
When asked if he had worked for any dignitaries in the in the Middle East, One said the list of names remains a secret for customer privacy reasons, “Yes we do have a lot of dignitaries who are our clients but unfortunately I cannot comment on this matter and yes we customize dresses for an Arab national.”
One is one of the most courted designers in the world; proof to this is his long list of Hollywood clientele in the persona of Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Milan, Amber Rose, Heidi Klum, Natasha Bedingfield and many more.
Born to a mother who is a plain housewife and to a father who is a pilot, One said has long been a “hardworking and determined” son to his parents and at the age of 10, he has shown incredible designing skills as he drew and sketched his ideas away, with paper and pencil as his comrades with the full support of both his parents.
“My mother and grandmother inspired me during my childhood years. I have always been amazed with how fashionable their wardrobes are. I used to spend hours marveling at them,” One added.
More proof of this characteristic passion in him is the unending timeline of achievements he has over the years since he started designing.
He won his first award from one of the Philippine’s most prominent fashion magazines, MEGA. He won the MEGA Magazine Young Designer of the Philippines Award in 1994. The competition was judged by one of the Asian country’s distinguished fashion designer, Josie Natori, who then saw the passion of One in fashion and later took him in as an intern.
One’s passion grew and stemmed out as he further indulged himself during his internship.
“It surely broadened my knowledge about the fashion industry; she gave me a way to enhance my talent as an emerging designer. Working and being trained with Josie was hard. Things were so different from back home but then for me it was still part of growing [up] and learning,” he said, describing his internship with the famous global Filipino fashion designer Natori.
In the same year, he won the first prize at the Japan’s Women’s Wear Awards and after three years he became a finalist at the Manila’s Fashion Designer Awards.
After opening his own boutique in 2002 in Dubai, One’s fame was made known to different companies and this paved the way to his collaboration with the famous crystal company Swarovski in an event in 2007. One customized a glittering bridal dress for the event and it became a part of Swarovski’s collection.
In 2008, One was given the chance to work with Heidi Klum as guest designer for Germany’s Next Top Model wherein his designs were featured for the finale.
This momentous event in One’s success ricocheted to his fame.
One takes seriously his success and never forgets the people who have opened the doors for him.
“I was MEGA’s Young Designer of the Year winner, got to open my own brand line Amato, got to work with A-Lister celebrities, got to work with celebrities such as Heidi Klum for Germany’s next top model and Tyra Banks for America’s next top model. Working with everyone opened doors for me and I get to meet lots of new people both in the fashion and business world,” he said.
Patience is what One strongly advises all the other dreamers who are aspiring to follow his success.
“Don’t give up, be patient and determined,” is One’s advice to all the other aspiring fashion designers out there.
Amato dresses sell from $4,000 and above depending on the style and design.
This October, Furne One is set to hit the ramps once again as he takes his designs to LA Fashion Week and Phoenix Fashion Week in the U.S.
One has five collections and has completed 11 major projects from around the globe to date.
One is currently staying in Dubai upon the invitation of a friend. He said that he fell in love with the city the moment he set foot in: “A friend of mine invited me to come and when I did, I fell in love with the city and the rest is history.”