Most Japanese designers have a reputation for embracing radical privacy, therefore rarely getting caught in the public eye. Rei Kawakubo and many younger designers have hidden themselves behind their label, using their work as the prime vessel of expression.
But since 2002, the creative works of Verbal and Yoo – founders of Ambush, have put them in the spotlight consistently. The collaborations of the duo with international hip-hop artists, as well as their smashing success in Japan brought massive attention to them. But having legions fans is not all. The couple also made their mark by rejecting the style clichés that people would suggest they embrace, instead creating their own visual identity, turning themselves into instant style icons.
Although not completely native to Japan, the two Ambush designers have completely decoded Japan’s creative software:
“You take something beautiful and make it even better, something new and unique. It allows you to view familiar things in a whole new light.” – (from CNN)
Recently, the label has gained stratospheric influence. Although the creativity of Ambush had heavily contributed to elevating the aesthetical levels of global street culture, it had not been recognized by the industry until now. Having focused mostly on jewelry since 2008, the label started exploring ready-to-wear, almost immediately catching attention of the industry leaders. In 2017, Ambush was shortlisted for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize.
Listed on BoF 500 since 2015, the dynamic duo seems bound to become a worldwide powerhouse, as we can’t name any attractive creator or brand of recent fame without it being connected to Ambush. In an almost modest homage, seeing the global impact of the brand nowadays, Vogue Japan just awarded the brand with the title of “Rising Star of the Year”.
As many are already mourning the end of Colette (who collaborated with Ambush early on, obviously), there is hope in the curatorial and creative edge that this studio is offering. As a matter of fact, it seems that the sun is always rising somewhere in the world.