GUEST BLOG: Furne One, The Fabulous Filipino Fashionista


Guest blog by: Nadine Bubeck, CBS Traffic Anchor and Nadine on the Scene blogger

Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and Nicki Minaj…all fans of Dubai designer Furne One.

He’s a 44 year old fashionista–someone who spends nearly 24/7 creating runway ensembles.  He’s won numerous reputable fashion awards, has worked with Heidi Klum, and constantly has his stuff showcased in a handful of world-wide Fashion Weeks.

“The New York fashion scene is functional; London is eccentric; and Dubai is a combination of both, plus glamour,” said Furne.

But Furne’s clothing line follows the road not taken; he describes his style as part-vintage Victorian, part art-deco, part cosmic-Wiccan, and part neo-goth.  He finds most inspiration from music and movies, like Tim Burton films such as Sleepy Hollow and Edward Scissorhands.

But before I get to describing his extravagant pieces, here’s some background on the fabulous Filipino with the full name Fernando.

Born in the Philippines, Furne told me he started sketching at age ten.  He says it was his mother and grandmother who helped form his love for fashion; Furne marveled at their colorful 70s and 80s wonderful wardrobe.  In 1994, he won MEGA Magazine’s Young Designer of The Philippines Award, and that’s what ultimately struck his first sight at success.

Style icon Josi Natori took notice of Furne’s potential, and offered him an apprenticeship at his famed Natori Company in New York.  Following his stint in the Big Apple, Furne went on to win a major design competition in Japan.

He felt destined to follow his dreams abroad, so he took a friend’s suggestion to move to Dubai, probably the best move he’s ever made.  That’s because Furne says Dubai is a hot stylish hub for a melting pot of races, and it’s not as uptight as other Arabic cities.

In 2002, he opened his first Dubai boutique: Amato, meaning beloved.  His creative flair attracted an elite clientele; it didn’t take long for Furne to get established.

The Furne word quickly spread, and Swarovski soon took interest in teaming up with the designer.  That led to their 2007 partnership; Furne started incorporating a whole lot of sparkle into his stuff.

“Bling really adds shine and impact on a dress,” said Furne.

True that, Furne One.

His imaginative clothing concoctions caught the eye of big-wigs at Germany’s Next Top Model.  As a result, Heidi Klum invited him to be a special guest in the show’s season finale.  You can pretty much assume things shot-gunned from there.

His line is literally out-of-this-world, almost robotic.  He incorporates a ton of color, pattern, and texture, and is surely known for his rather interesting, overwhelming, and downright radical head-wear.

“I want my pieces to tell stories.  My stories wouldn’t be complete without the whole package; that’s why I like to use elaborate face masks.”

He’s intriguingly unique.

Furne’s stuff is now available in Los Angeles at his specialty store also named Amato.  There, you can expect price-tags starting at $4000.

And you’ve likely seen celebs sporting Furne’s line…Katy Perry has performed in his ornate dresses, and J-Lo loved wearing his white and gold crystalized bustier accompanied with knee-high boots.

“Not everyone gets to work with such talent.  I am lucky to cater to celebrities, helping them make heads turn.”

Furne says the one accessory he can’t live without is a stylish bag, and hopes every woman eventually owns one of his signature amato dress.

The happily unmarried middle-aged man enjoys traveling on his rare downtime, preferably to Paris, Rome, and Tokyo.  And if you’re an aspiring designer hoping to follow in his successful footsteps, Furne says the key to being known is talent, diligence, and a dose of luck.

Check out Furne’s clothing collection on Saturday, October 6th at Phoenix Fashion Week 2012.

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