Yoon Ahn, celebrated jewelry designer and one half of the brand AMBUSH®, is in nearly constant motion. Between her base of Tokyo and her work in Paris, she operates on a hectic schedule by anyone's standards. This pace inevitably defines her relationship with what she wears. "When you live a busy lifestyle, the last thing you want is to think about how your clothes are uncomfortable or not functional," she says.
What Yoon says she does want to think about is her approach to and the refinement of her craft, of which she considers sport to be an essential influence, and finds parallels between an athlete's preparation and definition of commitment.
"It's about a certain mentality — the commitment to be best at what you're doing," she explains. "There are two things: the mental part, and the physical. Obviously, the mental involves a lot of skill sets that I need to work on. But with that, there is a need to build the strength to repeat them."
In the last decade, Yoon's work has expanded from single commissions to a fully fledged line. AMBUSH® has its roots in experimental jewelry but extended in 2016 when it showed its first ready-to-wear collection. With it, Yoon, along with her partner, Verbal, progress an idiosyncratic, Tokyo-leaning aesthetic firmly part of a new vanguard.
"The new lifestyle that a lot of us live is not so fragmented," says Yoon. "Before, how you dressed in the morning wasn't carried into nighttime. Now we move through space and time more fluidly."
This notion drives Yoon's vision for the Nike x AMBUSH® capsule collection, inclusive of two coats, a reversible track jacket (fleece on one side, a metallic foil ripstop on the other) and a luxurious faux fur jacket. These are complemented by a DRI-Fit Stretch bodysuit, crop top and fleece pant.
For footwear, Yoon chose to work with the Air Max 180, a silhouette for which she has an unbreakable emotional attachment to. "The Air Max 180 is the first pair of sneakers I ever bought with my own money. I wanted it so badly, having seen it in the pages of a magazine," says Yoon, who saved by balancing home chores with work in her local library.
Her design takes the iconic runner to a new dimension by mixing it with elements of another Nike classic, the Air Zoom Flight. "When I visited the Nike archive, I saw the Glove. It looks so cozy, so comfortable from afar. I wanted to capture that feeling and fully wrap the foot," Yoon notes.
The Nike x AMBUSH® apparel collection drops December 6. The Nike x AMBUSH® Air Max 180 will be available in spring 2019.