An industrial and minimalist boutique sits at the bustling streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. The box-structured shop strategically painted in cerulean is hard to miss and it’s certainly a brand that you wouldn’t want to sleep on. Ambush is a contemporary Japanese streetwear label by design duo and couple, Verbal and Yoon, which was founded in 2008.
Initially starting as a comic book-influenced jewellery line, Ambush designed giant gold chains, statement rings, and gold metal chokers. Later on, the brand evolved into creating denim and ready-to-wear clothes, which garnered the attention of hip-hop stars across the globe, even K-pop stars like CL and Park Bom. Unlike the wave of streetwear in the West that pursues similar aesthetics, what keeps Ambush exciting is their experimental flair that’s authentically Japanese.
“In Japan, I often feel that fashion is a quiet form of expression, and this concept of accepting the most diverse forms of expression is well engrained in the community,” Yoon shares with CNN. “You do not mock a new style or idea, you do not bring each other down, you bring each other up. There is a place for every type of fashion personality.” Verbal credits “remix culture”–an environment that he says encourages the fashionable youth and designers to challenge the status quo–for the Japanese fashion industry’s competitive edge.
Ambush has collaborated with major brands and influential stars such as BAPE, Louis Vuitton, and Sacai, as well as teaming up with G-Dragon for a sold-out line of leather basketball jerseys and black and gold accessories bearing his personal crest.
Currently, Yoon has just won Vogue’s Rising Star of the Year award for 2017 and had been one of the finalists for the LVMH Prize over the summer. Yoon and Verbal certainly have their hands full, especially with the release of their latest collection and upcoming projects for the brand. Surely, this is just the beginning of the Ambush empire.
Their Fall/Winter 2017 range is available now in-stores and online on ambushdesign.com and on SSENSE.