One of the most exciting new names in fashion, Yoon Ahn, is on the heels of her much-anticipated AMBUSH x Nike capsule collection release. Growing a cult-like following based largely on her personal style and commissioned jewelry designs, Yoon now serves as the owner of her own ready-to-wear line and was recently appointed men’s jewelry designer for Dior Homme.
But before the South Korea born designer saw her global and social fame ascend, she was simply a young girl angling for new sneakers — like many others. The first pair she ever purchased with money saved from her chores and working at the local library? Nike’s Air Max 180.
“The Air Max 180 is the first pair of sneakers I ever bought with my own money,” Yoon recalls. “I wanted it so badly, having seen it in the pages of a magazine.”
Yoon began talks with Nike on a collaborative project back in 2017 shortly after AMBUSH was named a LVMH Prize Finalist. A few months later, Yoon visited the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, where her adoration for the Air Max 180 was coupled with a fascination for Gary Payton’s Air Zoom Flight, which she spotted while canvassing the Swoosh vault.
“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.”
As a companion piece to her apparel collection — which includes two coats, reversible track jacket, a plush faux fur jacket, DRI-Fit Stretch bodysuit, crop top, and a fleece pant — the AMBUSH x Nike Air Max 180 highlights the shell of the time-tested Tinker Hatfield design juxtaposed with an overarching shroud in ode to The Glove. It’s the realization of an original idea. One only Yoon could conjure.
Beyond the fluidity and newness that attracts many to her design work, Yoon ideally represents the importance of women in positions of power in fashion. Her Korean roots are often imitated in fashion yet the people in which those ideas and styles are founded, don’t (often enough) represent a large population of ownership in the industry. Of course, when women are properly represented [as with AMBUSH], collaborative projects with Louis Vuitton and now this one with Nike present transparent and essential works.
The AMBUSH x Nike Air Max 180 will be available in black and mint iterations during the spring 2019 season. Yoon’s AMBUSH x Nike apparel collection will release on December 6.
Update 2/6: Yoon’s long-anticipated AMBUSH x Nike Air Max 180 will see a limited release at Nike Soho this Saturday, February 9. Additional retailers have not yet been announced. Stay tuned for more.