Born in the creative capital of Asia – Philippines, Furne One found his muse in his mother and grandmother through their personal style. His love for the unique and inherent quintessential edginess inspired the designer to sketch dresses as early as 10 years old. Even though he didn’t train in fashion, Furne’s natural affinity for artistic design pushed him to participate in the country’s prestigious design competition: MEGA Magazine’s Young Designer of Philippines Award 1994 – in which he won.
The competition was judged by international fashion players. One of whom was lingerie designer – Josie Natori. She was so impressed with Furne’s work and understanding of design that she offered him an internship in both her design studios in Paris and New York.
“I went from thinking as a designer, but I emerged with a full understanding of the business of design” says Furne.
“When it comes to fashion, of course, I don’t like to be just like everybody else. Having my own identity is very important to me.”
Paris honed his sense of style; New York tweaked his design sensibilities. Training at FIT, New York, doing several courses on design Furne’s own signature style emerged.
Deconstruction at a time of structure, subtle style with rare texturing was the alternative signature Furne showcased When he represented Philippines in Japan 1994. He took home the prestigious Japan’s Women Wear Award; going on to be a finalist at manila’s fashion Designer Award. Having achieved this, he was returning to New York when he stopped in Dubai and fell in love with the city.
“It was just a small town, with a great promise then” Furne reminisces. Making Dubai his base; he commenced his career working at a local atelier.Meeting Rashid Ali, a textile boutique owner, who shared similar design ideology and dreams, Furne teamed up his creative genius with Rashid’s in-depth knowledge of the fashion business to create Amato in2002. Furne says, “I was actually very nervous at my first fashion show “Journey to a Star” – I was determined to show everyone something different, new and unique.”
Rashid Ali was born in Pakistan 1977. At an early age he displayed an inherent love for textiles. Commencing his career, by partnering with a small chic textile boutique, Rashid traded in rare textile in Dubai at the time when this was a tiny little town of sand and dried up trees. Rashid says “I can map my growth along with Dubai’s – as the skyline changed, here under the vision of our leader Sheikh Mohammed, it inspired dreams in us, the citizens of Dubai. I grew a company inspired by His Highness.”
“We were one of the first rare textile stores; so some of Dubai’s finest designers would shop with us. I was intrigued by their creative processes. It was around that time when Furne One arrived and started working for a local atelier.” Like most Designers, Furne visited Rashid’s store regularly. Rashid says that it was the raw creativity and big potential in Furne’s creative designs that made him connect with the designer.
“I saw raw creativity and big potential in Furne’s creative designs. Sharing ideas, we realized that both of us had a similar dream and vision.”
Rashid’s exposure to the region’s Arab fashionistas at his store, gave him deep understanding of what the women in the region were looking for. Rashid explains, “They certainly wanted beautiful clothes but they wanted it to reflect their inherent personality and their culture. ”
I had to liquidate a lot of my personal assets to raise the core capital We were committed to benchmarking quality, so there no compromises. With his role as Managing Director and Brand Representatives gave him a deeper respect for the importance of design. As business partner of Furne, he promotes the Amato brand, directs the sales, marketing and business development teams, managing the business aspect of brand Amato and taking it from being a label to a brand.
Rashid remains highly invested in the legacy of Amato. “From Amato’s first collection, every collection has been a resounding success. This is the wellspring of our label.
As Furne’s partner, it’s my responsibility to bring Amato into a global level. Launching Amato’s perfumes and ready-to-wear collections, catering to women not only locally but also to an international scale.