AMATO, which means ‘beloved’ in Italian, is UAE’s first global designer brand that has earned itself an international cult following – from royalty to international celebrities. Also, the AMATO Couture happens to be the brainchild of the much-awarded creative designer Furne One, who partnered with textile expert Rashid Ali, to build this Avant Garde label. From the very first unconventional yet outstandingly chic collection, AMATO Couture touched a chord with regional and international fashion elites from Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks to singing sensations such as Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Nicki Minaj, just to name a few. And, if you are as curious as we are about AMATO and the icon behind it, then worry not, because the man himself is giving us an inside snippet on AMATO Couture and himself.
AMATO Couture by Furne One
How did you start your career as a fashion designer?
Furne One: It all started when I won a major fashion design competition in the Philippines. Designer Josie Natori took me under her wing and brought me to Paris and New York to work for her as an apprentice. I was young and adventurous. Dubai seemed like an exotic adventure for me. It was a new and growing city that held so many possibilities.
Describe the AMATO woman?
Furne One: AMATO’s clientele are real women; women who come in different shapes, sizes, backgrounds and skin colors. Each one of them is beautiful in her own way. As their designer, my goal is to bring out their most beautiful selves through the pieces that I create.
What signature touch can be found in every AMATO Couture design you make?
Furne One: My collections aren’t for the faint-hearted, they are for someone who is comfortable in her skin; her ensembles are but a foil to reflect her inner persona. My signature collections are timeless modern classics that are collector’s items. Meshing cultures, using the region’s rare arts, layering it with eastern and western elements, I create unique pieces that reflect the personal and cultural identities of my urbane and globalized clients.
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What is your biggest Fashion achievement so far?
Furne One: Besides dressing famous celebrities and receiving numerous awards, I think that the achievement I am most proud of is providing employment for my staff. Most of them have become like family to me and I am most proud to have been able to help them and their families through the label.
What part of the Arab culture inspires you the most?
Furne One: As a designer, I see the Arab culture as an endless source of inspiration. Every aspect of this wonderful culture is rich in artistic elements, interesting traditions and countless tales of fantasy that are all inspirational.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection? What can you tell us about it?
Furne One: On the surface, I wanted to highlight the reality of how humanity has abused our seas and oceans. But Underneath it all, I was inspired by a certain piece by the 13th-century poet, Rumi – ‘You have seen my descent, now watch my rising’. In this life, we’re all floating on the ocean. We can rise to the surface and sometimes sink to the deepest depths. It is up to us to choose to either float along and go wherever the waves take us or fight the current.
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
Furne One: I listen to different genres of music depending on my mood. When creating a collection, music is a crucial part of the design process. It can range from classical operas to mainstream pop by Madonna, Rihanna or Katy Perry.
Describe your favorite spot inside your studio.
Furne One: Definitely my office. It’s where I brainstorm with my team and schedule everything in production. My office is also where I spend time alone to find inspiration and conceptualize future ideas.
Who is your favorite celebrity that you loved dressing in AMATO Couture?
Furne One: Katy Perry. I remember dressing her for the first time for her California Dream Tour. It was quite an overwhelming experience. After her, the rest of the celebrities followed. Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Rita Ora and the list goes on and on. I also got to dress Katy again last year, which is always an amazing experience. She’s just so beautiful inside and out.
Name 2 Arab stars that you would love to dress in the future?
Furne One: Nancy Ajram and Miryam Fares.
Which is your favorite spot in UAE where you get inspiration?
Furne One: Everywhere! I look for inspiration around me. I am inspired by many things. From movies to music, places I’ve traveled to and the people I meet. Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. All you have to do is open not only your eyes but also your mind.
Where do you see AMATO in the next 5 years?
Furne One: I want to take AMATO Couture to a global audience. We want to be able to cater to our followers in Europe and Stateside but still keep my atelier in Dubai as the headquarters. We also intend to expand our relationships with stylists, editors, and celebrities who we feel are the embodiment of the AMATO Couture.