WORDS BY ASHLEIGH GRIBBON
Defined by an experimental vision and a bold, cutting-edge approach to design, AMBUSH is quickly becoming one of fashion’s most exciting brands. Once a cult jewelry label, now a New Guards Group-backed, fully-fledged, ready-to-wear offering, the Tokyo-based brand — founded by husband and wife, Verbal and Yoon Ahn, the hip-hop star and creative polymath who are revered in both fashion and music spaces — has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2008. A loyal celebrity following, including Lady Gaga, A$AP Rocky, Rihanna and Kanye West, as well as some of K-Pop’s biggest names, has only heightened the buzz.
The history of AMBUSH
AMBUSH’s backstory is a rich one. Once a jewelry brand famed for its eye-catching oversized accessories, the label went on to launch ready-to-wear in Paris in 2015, originally as a canvas for its cult accessories. Its instantly recognisable, Tokyo-inspired aesthetic has led to many high-profile commissions and collaborations, including Sacai, Off-White, Gentle Monster and Nike. In 2017, AMBUSH’s needle-pushing concepts were recognised in the luxury fashion space when the brand was selected as a finalist for the prestigious LVMH Prize. In 2018, AMBUSH presented its first runway show as part of Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo — the same year Dior’s Kim Jones named co-founder Yoon Ahn as the jewelry design director for Dior Homme. Ahn’s first creations for Dior debuted with the house’s spring/summer 2019 collection in Paris. In early 2020, AMBUSH’s genre-defying vision caught the eye of FARFETCH’s New Guards Group and the Italian company acquired the label.
'Our concept has always been unisex one,’ says Ahn of AMBUSH’s core values. ‘Starting from the jewelry at the very beginning, I didn't see the concept of gender as necessary for the designs we created. That open approach to what you make of a piece has always been part of our creative process and we hope the wearer can freely enjoy it. We introduced [clothing into the mix] as a canvas for the jewelry, but it was only a matter of time before ready-to-wear took a leading role in our cinema – this season, it takes the main stage.’
Ahead of shopping the label’s latest pieces, find out more about AMBUSH’s white-hot collaborations, size and fit recommendations, and the story behind its new-season offering below.
The best AMBUSH collaborations
AMBUSH x BAPE
A host of limited-edition partnerships with some of fashion’s biggest names has amped up the AMBUSH hype since its inception. A longstanding collaboration with Japanese label A Bathing Ape (BAPE) — a progressive design house famed for its heady, high-impact graphics — began back in 2009, delivering an extensive capsule edit of sought-after jewelry, graphic zip-through hoodies, T-shirts and footwear in a collection aptly named ‘A Bathing Ape Is Ambushed’.
AMBUSH x Beats by Dre
In the music arena, the duo has launched a white-hot collaboration with Beats by Dre: the debut design is a pair of special-edition, glow-in-the-dark Powerbeats earphones. Inspired by the lights, glow and energy of the Tokyo nightlife scene, the high-performance accessory — famed for impressive sound quality and water-resistance — marks the first glow-in-the-dark product ever to be released by Beats.
AMBUSH x Reebok
2012 marked the start of a string of partnerships with iconic sportswear brands: the first being Reebok. The partnership delivered a series of three limited-edition iterations of Reebok’s Instapump Fury HLS. For the first hotly anticipated release, the instantly recognisable design was reworked with a black base and a contrasting silver air chamber — finished with the signature AMBUSH logo at the heel — while the later two editions worked bold, monochromatic color into the mix with high-gloss red and blue finishes.
AMBUSH x Gentle Monster
One of AMBUSH’s most noteworthy collaborations was in 2019 with cult South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster. The partnership saw a pair of bold, futuristic frames — detailed with AMBUSH’s signature, silver-toned, zip-tie hardware and a dual-branded glasses chain — released in three translucent colorways. The styles were first seen in AMBUSH’s fall/winter 2019 lookbook.
AMBUSH x Converse
In 2019, AMBUSH joined forces with American skate brand Converse to create two original styles: the Chuck Taylor All-Star Duck Boot and the Chuck 70 Fuzzy High-Top, both re-energized iterations of the footwear’s signature shapes. Following the success of their debut collection, they released a second collaboration earlier this year, showcasing two more versions of iconic Converse silhouettes. The January 2021 release saw AMBUSH play with oversized proportions for the Chuck Taylor All-Star Duck Boot — in both black and bold Blithe blue — enhancing its weather-resistance and functionality.
AMBUSH x NBA
Perhaps most hotly anticipated is AMBUSH’s recent partnership with Nike and the National Basketball Association (NBA). The brief: to design a 1990s inspired basketball capsule collection. Complemented by a new take on the iconic Nike Dunk basketball sneaker, the clothing line leans into the energetic attitude of the sport with splashy, high-impact logos. Yoon Ahn sought inspiration from strong female characters from the 1990s to bring the apparel line to life, taking a fresh and feminine approach to styling.
The story behind the new AMBUSH collection
AMBUSH’s latest ready-to-wear collection celebrates the comfort and ease of timeless, versatile design — a concept that’s perfectly attuned to the current times. Relaxed, fuss-free silhouettes are brought to life in quality fabrics, blurring the lines between gender and seasonality. The pared-back aesthetic — defined by louche, lightly tailored jackets cinched at the waist, soft second-skin knits and neutral oversized outerwear — are a welcome juxtaposition to the statement, heirloom-esque designs that define the label’s cult jewelry offering.
'For spring/summer 2021, we wanted to reset and start building the new house of our apparel,’ explains Ahn. ‘We focused on simplicity and the ease of cuts and [fluid] movement as a base that we can build from. Lots of the fabrics we’ve chosen are made using natural materials, like cotton, light wool, linen, leather and sashiko denim, to enhance that [idea]. These materials will get better with age the more you wear them. We have an intimate relationship with the clothes that we wear — they’re close to our body and pieces can guard us, protect us, and provide us with a safe space. I would love AMBUSH to become that home for many people. A place where they can feel free and at ease.’
AMBUSH sizing guide
AMBUSH’s often unisex approach translates into a broad size offering within ready-to-wear. It’s important to note that the sizing for the label’s genderless pieces — which make up the majority of its collections — is displayed in men’s sizing on FARFETCH. Each piece aligns to the universal clothing standard and, generally speaking, fits true to size across these conversions for menswear. AMBUSH’s T-shirts, sweatshirts and men’s trousers in a Large, for example, reference universal sizing standards and translate to a UK and US size 40, or a size 50 in French and Italian measurements. It’s recommended that you opt for your regular size; however, it’s worth taking into consideration that the label’s streetwear-inspired pieces are designed for an oversized fit, so you may wish to size down depending on your prefered fit.
Women’s dresses, skirts and trousers also tend to align to the universal clothing standard for womenswear and generally fit true to size, so it’s advisable to opt for your regular size across these categories. As a guide, size Medium translates to a 12 in UK sizing, 44 in Italian, and size 40 in French measurements. Please note that this guide is based on FARFETCH’s sizing charts; measurements vary slightly on AMBUSH’s own website.