Yoon: From Ambush to Dior Homme

The jewelry and ready-to-wear brand founded by Tokyo-based life and business partners Yoon and Young-Kee Yu has evolved into a fixture of Paris fashion week, where fashion insiders and brands alike have swiftly become fans of the duo’s trademark industrial-inspired accessories and hip hop-inspired collections, always impeccably styled by Robbie Spencer. For the Fall/Winter 2018 season, though, Ambush’s inspiration was elsewhere, revealing the beginning of a more mature stage in the brand’s history and marking the beginning of an exciting new gig – Yoon's appointment as Dior Homme's new jewelry designer. Clad in an all-black outfit and grillz, the uniquely stylish Yoon talked us through her latest collection's evolution.

Yoon. Courtesy of Ambush.

How did the idea for this collection start?

As a kid, I moved all around the United States with my parents and I grew up mostly in Seattle, Oregon, where I lived for about seven years. Last summer, I went back there and it made me reminisce and reflect so much about my relationship with nature, how nice it is to be surrounded by clean air and a green landscape, and all the outdoorsy activities I used to do with my friends while growing up. So, the collection is kind of about that, without being too literal or grungy. It’s more of a reinterpretation of that era.

What are your biggest memories of growing up in Seattle in the 90s?

Even if it sounds stereotypical, there was the music, of course. Everyone was listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam. But there was also the obsession with nature. Being surrounded by mountains and the beach, all we did on weekends was fishing and hiking, so we used to wear a lot of outdoor gear that we would find at home or in thrift stores.

How did you translate that into a collection?

By mixing utility wear with relaxed tailoring. Of course, it’s a lot in the materials: there are lots of fleeces, teflon tops, waterproof cover ups, damaged knits… And there’s also the jewelry, much more inspired by nature than usual: I used glass beads for the first time to mimic rain drops.

Ambush F/W2018 collection. Courtesy of Ambush.

Was comfort an important element to the collection?

It was basic from the start, because I was thinking of home, which means basically the place where you feel most comfortable… So, I wanted to bring that homeliness to the clothes, which also explains why they are cozier and not so hardcore.

How did you express that homeliness in the jewelry?

It all feels more organic, more human. The essence – utilitarian, hard pieces – is still there, but I have introduced different materials from the staple silver and gold, which can feel very industrial. So, I chose glass beads because each one of them is one of a kind. They are imperfect, which is beautiful, and they remind me of being outside and drenched because they are a bit like water drops. That’s why I made them to look like they’re dripping off your neck, your wrist, or your head. I like that it’s kind of trippy.

How has Ambush evolved in its three seasons of existence?

It’s all getting more and more refined. We know what our identity and our aesthetics are, and now it’s all about staying honest and making clothes, first and foremost, to be worn by humans, because fantasy is great but at the end of the day if a person doesn’t feel comfortable in a piece of clothing she just won’t wear it. We want to make clothing that people wear and enjoy… Of course, while still telling a story and using the ready-to-wear as the perfect canvas to also display the jewelry.

Ambush F/W2018 collection. Courtesy of Ambush.

See Ambush's full FW18 Menswear collection here.