Yoon Ahn is planting a flag in the thriving outdoor market. For her spring 2022 Ambush collection, she introduced a category called Ambush Wksp, pronounced Workshop, with outfits in technical fabrics suitable for town and country.
Think windbreakers, hoodies, cargo shorts and track pants in color-block patchworks pairing neutral and primary colors, or with psychedelic nature-inspired prints designed by graphic artist Hagihara Takuya.
“I’ve actually been spending a lot of time outdoors and being in nature, so I was just kind of bringing that side into it,” said Ahn, noting that Japan allowed domestic travel during lockdown.
The influence of nature could also be felt in the rest of the collection, especially in the higher-end artisanal pieces, including a sleeveless column dress covered in a dense layer of multicolored beads inspired by a floral landscape.
Crocheted pieces, including hooded scarves and fringed bra tops, added textural depth to her signature relaxed tailoring. Inspired by the knitwear, Ahn used laser-cutting and braiding to bring texture to pieces like a buttermilk leather coat, or a lilac men’s shirt.
“As a designer, I think it’s important to approach things more intuitively, so I’m tapping into that side of me, and seeing how I can kind of move with the guts and emotion rather than just my head,” Ahn said. “In nature, nothing’s cookie-cutter, everything has its own fingerprints.”
That evolution could also be seen in the jewelry, which is the foundation of the brand. Exit the industrial hardware in favor of flowers, hearts, butterflies and mushrooms, and pieces incorporating handmade glass beads.
“Before, I was more in the city, I was always on the go. You see the hardness in a lot of the jewelry that we made, and I think it was just a byproduct of my environment,” Ahn mused. “With the stillness and the slowness that we had in the past year and a few months, you see the softness coming through.”