June Ambrose Expounds On the Inspiration Behind Her Debut PUMA High Court Collection

By Renee Withers | November 16, 2021

June Ambrose’s debut PUMA High Court collection celebrates the magic of multifaceted women.

After decades of transcending fashion in the hip-hop space with the likes of Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, and Will Smith, style architect June Ambrose’s (@juneambrose) next blueprint tweaks the parallels of sportswear for good. This is seen throughout the PUMA High Court Collection (us.puma.com), Coached by June Ambrose, the first under her creative direction with the sports retailer. Driven by Title IX, the law established in 1972 highlighting equality in sports, the lifestyle collection celebrates everyday women. Ambrose chats with EDITION about the collection, the reemergence of Y2K fashion, and why a mix of glamour and sporty threads will rule 2022.

June Ambrose sports the Timeless tank and Diggins breakaway pant PHOTO COURTESY OF PUMA
June Ambrose sports the Timeless tank and Diggins breakaway pant PHOTO COURTESY OF PUMA

The PUMA High Court Collection is all about giving the women who inspire us their flowers. Who holds high court in your life?

My mom was like an Olympian to me. My sister and I were the benefits of what she reaped and sowed. Watching that level of tenacity and the way she approached everything, that to me is the highest level of commitment.

The style mogul wears the University Set. PHOTO COURTESY OF PUMA
The style mogul wears the University Set. PHOTO COURTESY OF PUMA

Tell us about the creative process behind the collection. How does this collection stand apart from the rest?

I really wanted to accentuate a woman’s body no matter what shape it comes in. For those girls who don’t have hips, this gave them; for the ones that did, this accentuates them (like the sunrise across the bum). Normally in sportswear, they don’t necessarily dedicate that much time to those little nuances. We’re launching a division for women’s basketball for PUMA, so why not? Let’s attack it now, let’s fix the things about the sports bras that are a callout to other categories, and let’s find our sweet side. This collection feels like if you have no other wardrobe, and someone said, ‘This is what you have to live with; there’s nothing else.’

All of that is intentional, and I think that is super important that we speak to that consumer. If you’re making this investment, I’m going to make sure you are seen, heard, respected, and it’s going to meet your needs—metaphorically, physically, and directionally.

We’re currently seeing a resurgence of Y2K fashion. What are some trends you see coming back in 2022, and what should be left behind?

The panty thong, low-rider jeans, and acid wash jeans can take a seat. What I’m forecasting is a little bit more of a glamour approach to the oversized tomboy look. I’m done in terms of designing the 2022 collection, which would be the June Ambrose collection; there is a little bit of all of that in there where sporty meets glamour. The provocativeness will no longer just be in the clothes but in the conversation. With Title IX, there’s still a lot of open-ended questions with fashion and on the social justice side. I plan on leveraging this platform to speak on those matters any way we can, and equality is one of those things that’s still unbuttoned. If we can open those conversations with a stylish moment, then that’s how we’ll do it.

If you had to make a playlist for this collection, what are some of the songs you would have to add to it?

"Dirt off Your Shoulder" by Jay-Z, Chloe’s "Have Mercy," "Nobody" with Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill, and "Cool Off" by Missy Elliott.

Photography by: Courtesy of PUMA