Creative designer Furne One takes to the runway after his label Amato's show at Fashion Forward Dubai's 10th edition in October 2017
Dubai - Furne One, owner and creative director of Amato Couture and Amato Luxe, is one of the multi-award winning top names in the field, known for his extravagant couture and fashion artistry
It was a huge risk to move to a new destination in 1993 where I did not know anyone, I did not know what to expect or what lay ahead. Especially when I had a thriving career back in Cebu.
I had just won one of the top fashion designer competitions in the Philippines - MEGA Young Designer of the Year - and one of the prizes was an apprenticeship with the popular fashion brand Josie Natori, in New York city.
So, moving to Dubai at that time was a big risk to take. But the moment I landed in this country, I knew that I would make a difference in the fashion industry. My vision was and is clear still - to put Dubai and the UAE on the global fashion map. Luckily, with a great team and with our brilliant partner Rashid, we made that happen.
When I landed here, I was surprised with the art and grandeur of Dubai. The UAE has a rich culture and heritage, which I love to discover and explore, then and now. As a designer, it gives me a lot of inspiration to create dresses for my collections. The people in Dubai are warm and accepting; they are highly creative, protect their culture, heritage, aesthetic and have an innate sense of luxury.
I applied to be a private fashion designer for a wealthy family in the UAE. Working with a fashion house, it was then that I met the textile supplier, Rashid Ali. Later on, he offered to start a new business with me, with the two of us as partners. and the rest is history. I look after the creative operations side, making sure the quality our dresses are topnotch and high.
Rashid is responsible for the sales and business development of the company. I also share my input and vision for the company with him. We work hand in hand to make sure that the company is profitable, as well as by producing the highest quality of design and outfits to satisfy our clients. For me, doing business back in the initial days was better, as it was direct and less complicated.
Many of our clients are also looking for alternative options, which is why we came up with Amato Luxe. It has uber luxurious details and a lavish touch, yet is ready-to-wear. I spend a lot of time learning and inspiring myself with positive thoughts and experiences, by spending quality time with people and friends that are important to me. Professionally, I manage the overall creative team of Amato Haute Couture and Amato Luxe.
It is a bliss and a blessing to have all these awards and accolades. I am so grateful for what the Amato brand has achieved over the last 25 years. I couldn't be any happier. We are the first global brand in the UAE to dress A-list Hollywood stars such as Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Nicki Minaj, Demi Lovato and many more.
The UAE has given me a lot of opportunities to grow as a person, as a designer and as an entrepreneur.
Even though our social media accounts are handled by a team of professionals, I'm personally involved in all the content being posted on both accounts.
I love breaking the rules. What can work for other people can't always work for you and vice versa. I strongly advise anyone who wants to start career or life here in Dubai to "buckle up - it's going to be a rollercoaster ride."
In life, I don't have any disappointments, as I don't look at it that way. There is always beauty on the other side of the coin.
I admire His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. My favourite book is The Art of War. I like films by Tim Burton, Wes Anderson and all of Pedro Almodovar's works. My most recent fave is Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water. My favourite place in the UAE is the Dubai Creek - it is so romantic and nostalgic. My favourite travel destination is Europe: its history is so rich
(As told to Sandhya D'Mello)