This story first appeared in the February 27, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The wide-ranging spring 2017 line from the L’Oréal-owned Japanese beauty label comprises more than 30 cosmetics products set to hit counters on May 1.
“I thought that it would be fun to somehow make the packaging look like jewels,” said Yoon, a cofounder of Tokyo-based Ambush. “That’s where this gold and metallic theme came about.”
Ambush, the brand sported by the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga and K- and J-Pop idols, was founded in 2008 by Yoon and her husband Verbal, a hip-hop recording artist, music video director and record producer.
Ambush began as an experimental line of jewelry inspired by Pop Art (giving rise to its now well-known Pow logo). The unisex jewelry collection has subsequently been extended into denim and ready-to-wear plus other collaborations, all infused with Yoon and Verbal’s urban aesthetic.
Ambush is among the 21 semifinalists for this year’s edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
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For Shu Uemura, Yoon had a hand not only in dressing some of the existing cosmetics products in gold and with Pantone-hued category labels, but also helped choose the colorways for various items.
In a first for one of its artist tie-ups, Shu Uemura is launching in this collection a new product. It’s an eye shadow called Eye Foil that is liquid upon application but dries into a water-resistant metallic sheen coming in 10 shades, including a blue that Yoon created. She conceived a red for a lipstick, as well.
“Blue and red are two colors I use in my own personal jewelry collection,” Yoon explained. “The bright blue eye shadow you can match with red lipstick.”
For other eye shadows and the blushes, she went for more natural tones, such as taupe-brown and pinkish-pearl. “I tried to think of something that’s universally flattering on all skin tones,” Yoon continued. “I wanted the colors to be worn on many different women, [to be] something that could actually make you prettier but it’s not overwhelming your face.
“With the lips, I have like the bright orange and a bright red, because I think it would be perfect for the beginning of the summer,” she added. “[Shu Uemura] gave me so much freedom to choose what I wanted.”
The capsule also includes the brand’s iconic Cleansing Oil, Perfecti Blotting Paper, on which words appear when used, and two Eye Brow Manicure products.
Yoon was fully involved in the collection’s visual campaign, too, which features a model sporting an Ambush necklace who is pictured with a red and a blue background.
“I want everyone to feel relatable to the image, and this girl — the Ambush Shu Uemura girl,” she said. “I think that it’s a very modern way of approaching beauty. It’s universal.”
The products will be introduced in countries including Canada, the U.K., France, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. In the U.S., they will be available on the label’s web site.
Shu Uemura has hosted seasonal collaborations over the past decade, with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Maison Kitsuné and Yaz Bukey.