Verbal and Yoon,are two of Tokyo’s premier style icons, known in both the fashion and music spheres by everyone from underground kids to presidents of multi-million dollar corporations. A hip hop artist and graphic designer respectively, together they have featured in global Louis Vuitton and Doc Martens campaigns and have collaborated with the likes of Sacai, Colette, Kitsuné, A Bathing Ape and Topman. Not short of industry insider friends, Verbal and Yoon are often pictured with the likes of Kanye West , Kim Jones , A$AP Rocky , Pharrell Williams and Skepta.
Verbal and Yoon met at the University of Boston, where Verbal studied Philosophy and Marketing and Yoon studied Graphic Design. Shortly after leaving Boston in 1998, Verbal debuted in M-Flo and began his career in the music industry. Prompted by Yoon, Verbal began to replace his traditionally hip-hop baggy clothes for brands he loved like Raf Simons and Dior Homme, in a move that has been said to have spearheaded the movement of hip-hop artists engaging in the concept of high-fashion brands.
In 2002, the duo created Ambush Design Company as a design outlet for Yoon, under which she designed album artwork for a number of artists, including Verbal. In 2004 they founded a couture jewellery line called Antonio Murphy & Astro — Kanye West was seen wearing their designs shortly after it was launched.
In 2008 they established their second line, Ambush, which was an instant success. Initially designing giant gold chains, gold metal chokers and handmade gold chain-mail hoodies, the line quickly developed more conceptual themes for each collection, such as ‘Nomad’ or ‘Holy Mountain'. Their Autumn/Winter 2015 collection was shown outside of Japan for the very first time at the Joyce Gallery in Hong Kong. The collection was a modern take on American Southwestern jewellery, and was inspired by The Beatles’ White Album. Alongside their jewellery label, the duo runs a consultancy agency that has worked on projects with brands such as Beats by Dre and e-commerce site Rakuten.