We met with YOON, the creative force behind AMBUSH® and the global women’s curator of Nike, to discuss her unique perspective on art, design, and the ever-evolving world of fashion. Early in our conversation, the unmistakable clarity with which she has mapped her future path became apparent—it is a trajectory without fear, doubt, or compromise. In the following interview, YOON shares her vision for the future of AMBUSH® and Nike, explaining how organic evolution and commitment to core values has helped each company grow. Driven by curiosity and a commitment to authenticity, her success serves as a testament to the importance of balance, rhythm and the embrace of change.

hube: With each passing year, a new idea of beauty emerges that either builds upon existing standards or goes against them entirely. You always seem to be one step ahead. What’s your secret?

Yoon: There is no secret. Rather, I view living as a genuine, authentic journey of being connected to the world, marinating and digesting it in my own unique way. I pay attention and am constantly curious about what’s happening across different industries. Also, I like to travel a lot so that I can see things in person. It’s one thing to know about it in your head or through passing information that you’ve read online, but it’s a different understanding that you get by really living it. I make sure that I remain open-minded, [so that I can] learn and feel those things. Then, I apply the inspiration to my creations.

h: How do you interpret the concept of “in motion” within the context of your creative journey? 

Y: I’m always travelling, so I’m literally “in motion.” It’s crucial for me to be present, to witness things firsthand. At the same time, my mind is also in constant motion to challenge itself by questioning. I actively seek to learn new things to update the old data in my head, then I expand my creative universe and connect all of these data points into something bigger. I’m not the type of designer who focuses solely on one thing over and over. Ideas must flow and move with time and environments, so I try to redefine everything again and again. I believe that continuous evolution is essential for personal growth and inspiration. So, I keep asking myself every day, “What’s next?”

h: The boundary between design and art is sometimes so blurred it is almost indiscernible. What is your experience in the interplay between art and design?

Y: I believe the most fundamental difference lies in the fact that art doesn’t necessarily require a function, whereas designs do. Art revolves around the concepts and ideas you’re willing to share with the world (in whatever medium you practise), but it’s not necessary. In contrast, design is tied to practical application and utility, existing within the realm of rationality.

Take Rei [Kawakubo] and Comme des Garçons, whose design is on a different side of the spectrum. Despite their avant-garde styles, at the end of the day, their clothes still need to be on the body. It’s not merely about creating random, aesthetically beautiful forms meant to be hung on the wall. It can be both beautiful and wearable.

To me, art and design are certainly two different things. While design can be showcased as an art form in galleries or museums, it always requires a function. On the contrary, while an artist’s work can be applied to design, art itself is free from such constraints. 

Mirror-effect wool trench coat, thigh-high leather net boots, and gloves ALAÏA, heart padlock earrings and heart charm necklace AMBUSH®
Wool coat Y/PROJECT, layered jacket MASU, cotton shirt and tie AMBUSH®, heart padlock earrings AMBUSH®
Mirror-effect wool trench coat ALAÏA, heart charm necklace AMBUSH®
Tulle gown RICK OWENS, heart padlock earrings and barbell ring AMBUSH®

h: Colour is a critical element in your art. Can you share how you approach and work with colour palettes? 

Y: There’s a set of colour palettes that we use within AMBUSH®. Sometimes, we pull it out, sometimes, we put it back in. It makes sense as a whole when you zoom out and look at everything we are doing, like an ecosystem depending on the season, the year, and other factors. Colours, in this context, play a vital role in defining the project’s energy and affecting its future picture for the AMBUSH® UNIVERSE.

h: Your playlists include Björk and Drake, the Balanescu Quartet and the Teriyaki Boyz. How does music influence your artistic practice?

Y: Music is very important. I constantly explore new artists, curating our playlists on Spotify. It’s vital. Sometimes we use music to create a specific mood for our AMBUSH® UNIVERSE, including our stores. But more personally, it’s like a vehicle that helps me get into a particular mental space and visual landscape in my head. It helps me visualise ideas better and tap into an emotional side while I work. 

h: As the co-founder of AMBUSH®, how do you envision the brand’s future? How do you ensure that AMBUSH® remains in motion and stays relevant in an ever-changing fashion landscape?

Y: The most unique thing about AMBUSH® is that everything has been, and is, very organic, especially in how we’re constantly evolving. We were the first jewellery brand to go into apparel, and now we see other brands following suit. Many of our designs are unisex, something we have been doing since before the term became so common. Early on, we were put down by some fashion journalists who claimed there was no such thing as “unisex” at the time, but we stayed true to what we wanted in the available market, so we did it anyway. 

AMBUSH® is always in motion because I see the brand as a creative platform where, over time, we can do anything. Along this journey we discover new things, have fun, and redefine ourselves, yet we remain true to our core values. I know for sure that our audience and customers seek the same thing.

By exploring new avenues—be it through product design, collaboration, or simply inspiration—we meet so many inspiring people from different industries. This connection allows us to be part of something larger outside of the fashion ecosystem. That is why we have done so many exciting projects that align with our DNA but are different from what a typical fashion brand does. And as I said, it’s been a very fun and genuine process to interconnect everything. Ultimately, fitting into the fashion industry box doesn’t matter. I believe that if we bring something interesting to the table, people will come and want to be a part of it.

Corset top and skirt AMBUSH®, leg warmers FUMIKA_UCHI,
laced heels STEVEN MA, hair clips and barbell ring AMBUSH®
Cotton shirt AMBUSH®
Wool coat Y/PROJECT, layered jacket MASU, cotton shirt and tie AMBUSH®, pleated skirt MASU, leather boots GIVENCHY, heart padlock earrings AMBUSH®
Bolero top and bra FUMIKA_UCHIDA, coated denim maxi skirt and leather boots RICK OWENS, hairclip and barbell ring AMBUSH®
Mirror-effect wool trench coat, thigh-high leather net boots, and gloves ALAÏA, heart padlock earrings and heart charm necklace AMBUSH®

Talent: YOON
Photographer and Director: XAVIER TERA
Hair and Makeup: RIE SHIRAISHI
Photo Assistant: HIROKI NAGAHIRO
Camera Assistant: KOICHI TOKUHIRA
Stylist Assistant: KANA HASHIMOTO
Production Company: TWIN BRAINS FILMS

With special thanks to the team of AMBUSH®

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