Interview with Furne One

The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week may have not started but the parade of impeccable designers continues throughout the world. This time, couture finds its soul mate south of the Persian Gulf in Dubai. With gorgeous weather year round and scenic water views, Dubai has become a favorite playground for the world’s elite. The Arabian metropolis is famous for its real estate and A-list parties but creeping into the scene is a thriving fashion enterprise. Just like the city’s architecture, fashion here is innovative and chic. One particular Dubai based designer has caught my attention with his elaborate and jaw dropping visions.

Furne One is the man behind Dubai-based Amato Haute Couture. The Filipino designer’s professional career in the fashion industry began 17 years ago when he caught the attention of Josie Natori, founder of The Natori Company. In 1994, the young talent happily welcomed an apprenticeship offer at Natori’s New York design House. In 2002, Furne opened his first boutique – Amato, which means beloved. The store provided beautifully and delicately hand stitched designs. In 2007, Furne One was commissioned by Swarovski to create a bridal gown for their limited edition book, Unbridaled. The designer also showcased a collection for Swarovski’s Crystallized Swarovski Elements Event in 2007.

Furne One is epic, familiar yet at the same time other-worldly. I was honored to have interviewed the very talented and busy designer. Following days of going over his material, I felt the need to find out how Furne One came to be. “I guess it all started when I was a little boy. I would spend hours marveling at both my mother and grandmother’s fashionable wardrobes. As I got older, I realized that if I was ever going to be somebody when I grow up, it would have to be someone who designs dreamy dresses that would make girls all starry-eyed,” explained the couture designer.

He also confided that “making elaborate gowns and dresses enhances my creativity. It’s a learning process for me. There’s always a change.” Furne One’s designs evolve depending on the theme and the season, the famed designer tells amixofthings “In most cases, what ties my collections together as individually cohesive concept is not just a single detail. It’s usually two or three images that I consistently incorporate in each piece as part of the bead-work, embroidery or as an accessory.”

One would be curious if the source of Furne One’s inspirations is just as dramatic as his gowns, “Not necessarily, I get inspiration from something that strikes me. I often find myself basing my designs on six constants: movies, music, vintage images, Gothic art, books and plays.” An Amato woman someone with a strong sense of herself. She knows what she wants and is confident to celebrate all that is uniquely her and uncompromising about her choices. An Amato woman has a distinctive sense of style. Furne One tells amixofthings that if there was one woman who he would love to dress, it would be Madonna. “Madonna, not only is she a living legend but she is always reinventing herself,” the designer gushed.

Fashion is something that Furne One takes very seriously, “It’s my life and it’s my world. Life would be too boring without it.” The industry may mean everything to the dedicated designer but has it been good to him? “The industry has not only been good to me but I am so blessed with all the things I have. I am so overwhelmed with where I am now and what I have achieved so far. Nothing is impossible with the help and support of family and friends, especially with lots of hard work and patience.”  With scheduled showroom openings in the U.S. (“we are planning to open up showrooms in Los Angeles and New York.”) and a list of Tinseltown clients, 2014 will be an even bigger year for Furne One.