The following decades in fashion were comprised of highs and lows, as the ‘90s and ‘00s created some of the most iconic moments in fashion and a culture of shame, stigma and misogyny that was less iconic. But by the late Noughties, fashion was once again, changing. A phenomenon was being born (or rather re born) that would go on to change the fashion world forever… Enter streetwear - the start of a fashion revolution. A subculture was infiltrating the mainstream, changing – forever – the currencies that fashion dealt in, bringing new voices and a new vision to the industry.
And one of the women at the forefront of this fashion revolution? Yoon Ahn. Creative director and co-founder of streetwear heavyweight Ambush, Ahn exploded onto the streetwear scene in the late 2000s, ready to completely change the game. For Ahn, culture is always changing. Hailing from South Korea and now based in Tokyo, the world is a playground for her vision. As far as she is concerned, there’s a space for everyone in fashion.
Ambush began as a jewellery brand, and today their pieces remain some of the most iconic in the streetwear realm (read: blown-up safety pins, on-the-nose pill necklaces and cult POW motifs). Ahn co-founded the brand alongside her now husband, hip-hop artist Verbal. The brand started to infiltrate the mainstream when the likes of Pharrell, Beyoncé and Rihanna were spotted in the designs. It’s hard to imagine now, but then, the high fashion world was turning its nose up at streetwear and hip-hop culture. But Ambush would go on to become one of the industry’s biggest players when she expanded the brand in 2015.
Since then, the brand has made its runway debut and collaborated with the likes of Off-White and Converse, cementing its status as one of streetwear’s biggest names. Her most recent venture? Expanding into the metaverse. Famed for its limitless possibilities, it’s hardly surprising that Ahn would choose to expand into Web3. Once again, Ahn is using her voice and vision in the fashion industry to create a path towards infinite creativity.
Piece by piece, Ahn is dismantling gender stereotypes in the industry. How? Aside from the obvious (existing as a woman in a male-dominated field), her designs adopt a genderless spirit; in Ambush stores, clothes are separated by concept rather than divided by gender. This is clothing that can be worn by anyone; pioneering fashion that is for everyone. Speaking to Vogue, she said: “Let’s not have these stereotypes for women, but just celebrate everybody, no matter how they look or what they appear to be”.