AMBUSH Creative Director, YOON is known for refined designs that are inspired by various culture. We interviewd her about our collaboration and how she became the fashion industry's "it girl".
This T-shirt collection incorporates the same color palette as the AMBUSH Spring-Summer collection. The items feature designs that present Minnie Mouse as a character who is both cool and charming.
Styling up in total.
The new capsule collection from AMBUSH Creative Director YOON and UNIQLO makes a statement that UT is about more than just T-shirts. Featuring Mickey Mouse’s eternal girlfriend, Minnie, the collection consists of T-shirts, bags, and other items in pink, mint green, and black—"the color palette of this year’s Spring-Summer collection for AMBUSH," says YOON. She designed the items—including pants and an athleisure-inspired jacket that can be worn like a dress—so they can be easily coordinated and can form a collection that mothers and daughters can wear together. To better understand the collection, one needs to remember that AMBUSH started as a jewelry brand and first gained popularity around the world because of its experimental line of jewelry.
From hobbyist jewel maker to professional designer
I studied graphic design in college." YOON says. "Unlike in Japan, U.S. colleges give you many opportunities to make presentations in class, and it was through these presentations that I discovered the love of creating something—especially making something by hand. I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
She attended college in Boston, which is where she met VERBAL, a successful artist who is also her partner. They met in a church—one might say it was divine intervention! After graduating from college, she worked at a design firm in Boston until she followed VERBAL’s advice and moved to Tokyo in 2002.
In the beginning, I did style work for VERBAL and designed T-shirts for him," she says. "The hip-hop scene in Japan at the time was full of stereotypical imagery, which I didn’t like, so I stlyed VERBAL with high-brand products that he liked and coordinated with really eye-catching jewelry. I especially liked making jewelry—the process was so fun! I created this collection called POW!—necklaces and rings based on sound effect balloons in U.S. comic books—and Kanye West, our friend, really liked them. He began introducing my work to everyone he knew, and before I knew it, I was getting a lot of inquiries.
Google was my teacher.
Eventually, she had to decide whether to continue making jewelry as a hobby or establish her own brand. In 2008, she set up AMBUSH. Just a few years ago, she didn’t know the first thing about making and selling jewelry. By 2012, she was making her own clothes.
“I had zero knowledge about fashion when I started making clothes," YOON says. “I knew how to make jewelry, but the process is so different. And I was doing this all alone, so I was basically googling everything. That’s right, Google was my teacher. (Laughs.) But what the two processes have in common is that you need to have an original vision. So I’m lucky that I got to spend time in Seattle, Boston, Hawaii, California, South Korea, and Tokyo because of my dad’s work and soak up so many different cultures. And in Paris, where I decided to present my collection, I learned that being a designer means taking care of the business side of things as well. Yeah, I’m busy, but thanks to Uber Eats, I never go hungry! (Laughs.)"
YOON｜Born in South Korea and grew up in the USA. Founded AMBUSH along with artist VERBAL in 2008. She was an LVMH Prize finalist in 2017. She has been Jewelry Director for Dior Men since the 2019 Spring-Summer collection.