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A certain Cebuano designer is making headlines in the international fashion world and his name is Furne (short for Fernando) One. One’s Hollywood clientele include Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga. He also created a gown for actress-singer Jenny Elbers-Elbertzhagen. That dress won her the Best Dressed Lady of the Evening at the Leipziger Opernball.
How did this Cebu native start his journey to stardom? At a young age of 10, One started doing his design sketches. He got his inspiration from his fashionable mother and grandmother. He initially wanted to take up a course in fashion design but schools did not offer that course in his time yet. He opted to take up Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos, Cebu.
One got his big break in 1994, when he bagged the grand prize at the First Mega Designers Competition. Prominent people in the international fashion industry judged this competition. His prize included a trip to Paris, France, where he further honed his skills. After his training, Mega Designers Competition judge Josie Natori invited him to New York to be an apprentice at The Natori Company. He then returned to Cebu and joined a government-sponsored competition. He won the competition and one of the prizes was a trip to Japan. He grabbed this opportunity to gain more experience and earned himself the Desirable Women’s Wear Award there.
One made a life-changing decision to work in Dubai, where he made a name for himself. He started as a designer for a company catering to rich Arabic women. He later on took the big leap to open his own fashion house. He named it Amato Couture; amato means beloved. His business partner, Rashid Ali, manages the business side of the company. He focused on haute couture. One takes pride on his high fashion masterpieces. He works sleepless nights to hand sew 80% of his gowns. His intricate beadwork makes his gowns more spectacular.
One became a world-renowned designer after he established a name in Dubai. He was able to conquer Europe when German supermodel Heidi Klum contacted him to design 18 gowns for her show “Germany’s Next Top Model.” He instantly became a celebrity as the show aired all over Europe. He appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. One has been working with Klum for five seasons already.
If all these accomplishments are not enough, One became the first Filipino to be invited to the Miami Fashion Week in 2009. He received the Designer’s Choice Award there. In the 2010 Dubai Fashion Week, he garnered the Best in Overall Presentation Award for his Vivienne Collection. The Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian Legends inspired him to make this collection. He has also participated in the last three annual Swarovski Elements events in Dubai. The brand also featured him in its limited edition coffee table book entitled “Unbridaled.”
What’s next for Furne One? He plans to open a store here in the Philippines.
Check out his creations at amatohautecouture.com.