For me, fashion is selling your dream: Furne One
Couturier Furne One who is behind the renowned label Amato speaks of his legacy and what to expect from his finale at the Fashion Forward show tonight
Sitting on a plush grey couch with Furne One in his Amato Luxe couture house discussing his legacy and his plans for the future isn't something we're likely to forget in the near future. We, unlike him, have no fashion bone in our body. But that doesn't take away from our appreciation of the soft spoken man that embodies all that comes with fashion and style with such ease.
With soothing opera music acting as the background score of our conversation, the man responsible for creating an aura surrounding his revered name has dressed celebrities, royalty and the crème de la crème of the industry. It's not just big shots who are attracted to his aesthetic. From his very first collection, Amato touched a chord with local and global fashion enthusiasts, showcasing the unique quality that can only be called an Amato touch. "For a designer, identity is very important. But it's very hard to have. And that's my legacy; when somebody walks in and they can tell that's an Amato... That's the point - to have identity," the designer explains.
Can dresses speak? Almost all of Amato's ensembles have a theme running through them; an element of je ne sais quoi. Whether it's a subtle piece or an over-the-top grand dress; they all seem to want to tell you to dream a little, laugh a little and have a little more wonder to your everyday.
What inspires such enigmatic pieces? "Sometimes I'm just in my room listening to music and I'm inspired by it. Everyday is different. I love life. I love my travels, to see culture and architecture. Seeing the world is my inspiration; seeing the old and the new world."
And this seamlessly translates into his work. He creates masterpieces that are more art than clothes that tell the story of his travels and portrays his aesthetic, leaving very little room to question his style.
"My aesthetic is really romantic. I love romantic, Victorian and crazy things. I love mixing patterns and fabrics and all ideas into one. For me more is more."
His fashion identity on the other hand is harder for him to put into words. "I don't know, it's different. I want it to be more like an art piece or an installation. Something you can treasure forever."
Replicate and duplicate?
With social media making everything so easily accessible, it's become easy to replicate designs. But the designer says even he himself can never fully replicate a dress. "I don't think it's easy. It cannot be the same. If my client wants to do the exact same dress I cannot copy it accurately. Because you have to consider the material and all the elements of the dress and sometimes it's not available. So it cannot be completely the same. Maybe a touch or a feel of that, but not the entire dress," Furne One says.
Talking about his journey, the man takes a deep sigh and says it hasn't been easy or quick. After winning The Young Designers Competition in Philippines over a decade ago, he grabbed the chance to go to Paris and see real fashion, as nobody does it quite like the Parisians do. And Paris is where he learnt all that the glitter hides. Beneath the glamour, parties and celebrities, he found out that Fashion, at its core, is a business.
"When I went to Paris I saw the real fashion. It is not just being creative or being glamourous. Fashion is business. At the end of the day you have to sell. At the end of the day you have bills to pay. It's not just parties, it's not a dream or illusion. And for me, fashion is selling your dream."
The man is no doubt a storyteller. He says he wants to make a mark in the world of fashion by telling stories through his art. "The main idea now is to go mainstream. That's the main goal now; to have a complete line of accessories, shoes and home furnishings. I think that's every designer's dream - to go mainstream. It's difficult but we can do it soon."
Furne One holds a very romantic notion of what the fashion industry must look like in the future for all those looking to venture into the world of couture. It's not easy he says. He and his partner textile expert Rashid Ali have built an empire without much help from the outside. They wanted to have as much control as they could when it came to their home brand and that's just the driving force behind Amato.
Furne One has become a household name in the fashion industry and is being looked upon by many aspiring designers. What advice does he have for younglings trying to make a mark in such a competitive field?
"Have a vision. Because vision is very important. You don't have to be a perfect illustrator because you can always hire a good illustrator. What's important is to have a good idea. Aside from hard work and dedication, vision is very important," he reiterates.
Finale at FFD
Amato will be closing the show tonight at Fashion Forward Dubai The October 2019 Edition in d3 with his latest collection, Coronation of the Virgin, which is inspired by the portal of Santa Maria Forisportam wall sculpture in Lucca Tuscany Italy.
What can we expect at the finale? "More drama and more choreography with a different twist. I'm showing a collection titled Coronation of the Virgin and it is about purity," he said. As firm believers of the concept 'more is more,' we can't wait to see his new collection that will surely be awe inspiring!
On Dubai's fashion scene
The term Amato literally translates to beloved in Italian. Since launching his avante garde label, Amato, in 2002, he's been making the fashion elite of the region feel like royalty.
"What I like about Dubai is it's like a melting pot. In the Middle East there's a lot of nationalities and cultures and you learn from every culture. For me, everyday is a learning process.
"I was working in New York when my friend told me to drop by Dubai and when I first came here I really loved it, because there's a lot of balance here. So I decided that I should be here. To learn more," says Furne One as he looks back at his early days.
Having dressed celebrities like Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Heidi Klum and let's just say clientele that involves a lot more A-list names, Furne One says he is deeply humbled by being able to dress famous personalities. "I am very honoured to dress up celebrities. It's every designer's dream to dress up celebrities and I feel very blessed," Furne One says. Some of his dream celebrities to dress, he says, would be Madonna, Cate Blanchett and Angelina Jolie.
What: Fashion Forward Dubai The October 2019 Edition
Where: The Design District, d3
Register at www.fashionforward.ae/register