Amato Couture

Launched in 2002 UAE, Amato, which means ‘beloved’ in Italian, is the brainchild of the much-awarded creative designer Furne One, who partnered with textile expert Rashid Ali, to build this Avant Garde label.

PHOTOGRAPHER Peter Ritchweisz ART DIRECTION Jojo Dantespadua HAIR AND MAKE-UP Jojo Dantespadua MODELS Elena P. AND Karina K.


Tell us something more about the background and history of Amato Couture.
It all started when I won a major fashion design competition in the Philippines. Designer Josei 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.
Through the years, the Amato Couture family has grown and evolved. People will always come and go, that’s life. But these individuals will always be a part of Amato Couture’s history and evolution.

What makes you passionate about Amato Couture, and fashion in general?
Being able to create a dress that people appreciate is probably the most rewarding experience for any designer. Moreover, what matters is that you create somethingthat speaks to your audience and make them see your vision.

What inspires your collections?
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.

What is your design process?
It all starts with a piece of inspiration. It could be a character from a book, TV show or movie, sometimes a song or a place.
I take inspiration from everything around me. That single inspiration trans- forms into a burst of ideas. I sketch everything that comes to mind and the rest is history.

PHOTOGRAPHER Peter Ritchweisz ART DIRECTION Jojo Dantespadua HAIR AND MAKE-UP Jojo Dantespadua MODELS Elena P. AND Karina K.

How do you stay up to date regarding fashion?
Being a fashion designer requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It’s not always glamorous! As a designer, it is important that you know how to look outside of your own comfort zone. The challenge is to learn to adapt to the changes of the fashion world but still remain true to your aesthetic.

What is the most difficult part of the fashion industry?
I think the fashion industry in other parts of the world moves a little too fast. Consumers and designers are running around in circles chasing each other with the latest trends and fads. I think it’s also important for us to stop and start being aware of the effects “fast fashion” has on the fashion industry’s integrity and more importantly, the state of our environment.

And the most rewarding ones?
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 Amato.

What’s next for Amato Couture?
Last year we opened two new stores in Dubai Design District. One for our recently launched ready-to-wear line and the other for our upscale couture pieces. I’d like to think this is only the beginning of Amato’s expansion from the Middle East to the international market.