yoon on the evolution of the ambush universe / by Slow Waves


From their beginnings as a jewellery brand for the hip hop set, right up to their announcement as a finalist for the LVMH prize in 2017, Ambush has served as a brand that "reps for the kids." Built up and based in Tokyo, by life and business partners Yoon Ahn and Young-Kee Yu, the label was born during Young-Kee's previous life as a rapper called Verbal. They began creating bold chains and rings that quickly became coveted by rap superstars after Pharrell fell for the brand.


We're sitting above the Ambush store right now and it's so beautiful, when did you decide you wanted a label home where you could contextualise the brand yourself?

We took our time with the store because we really needed to build our identity first and create a whole world. We have the Ambush universe now, it's been 10 years and along with the jewellery we have ready-to-wear, glasses and exclusive items that are only available here.




I'm looking at your t-shirt that says 'YOUTH', if I had to sum up Ambush in a word, youth would be it. 

The thing about getting old is that there truly is nothing new under the sun, it's a cyclical existence. Youth is a spirit and a state of mind, you need to be a little naive to things. Not over calculating things is youth to me and it's important to play a lot, do things as you grow older just for the hell of it. You don't stop playing because you become old, you become old because you stop playing. I'm not saying I literally act like I'm 21, although I still do a lot of clubbing!


I have admiration for couples who work together, do you and Verbal have rules about not talking business at home?

We talk about it constantly, it was originally a hobby and naturally evolved into this thing, we didn't get into fashion with the motivation of "let's start a brand and takeover." Verbal is very clever with the dry side of business, that isn't my strength, he's a pragmatist and so we balance each other out. If we ever get too caught up in the drama or disappointments of business we take a step back and realise that this is our dream and a part of that dream is the fact that business ain't easy.


Read the full interview by Courtney DeWitt on i-D HERE