In our bi-weekly series, we highlight dynamic women—from entrepreneurs and small business founders to CEOs and celebrities—discussing their style ethos, the pieces that empower them, and how they balance life alongside whirlwind careers.
June Ambrose wears many hats. There are the literal hats she wears—often tall, sometimes adorned with oversized bunny ears—that have become one of her signature accessories. Then there’s her ultra-creative, figurative hat: the one that has led her to style some of hip hop’s biggest names (Jay Z! Missy Elliot!). Most recently, the latter led her to a position as the Creative Director of PUMA, where she has launched two apparel and footwear collections for PUMA's Hoops division under the Keeping Score (opens in new tab) moniker—the second of which launched on March 16.
This second collection, out now and available to shop on PUMA’s website (opens in new tab), sits at the intersection of everything that makes Ambrose a powerhouse in her industry. It seamlessly blends the energy of hip hop culture—which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has been influential on her career, to put it mildly—a touch of nostalgia, and the power of being a woman in 2023. No wonder it comes to us right in the middle of Women’s History Month.
The pieces themselves pull inspiration from ‘90s fashion and are meant to carry you through every phase of your day (and life!), thanks to a style-by-design approach. The Victory Reversible Varsity Jacket (opens in new tab) is made, as the name might suggest, to be reversed and detached from the topper vest, making it a three-in-one piece that stays in your closet forever. The Overtime Track Jacket (opens in new tab) and Traveling Track Pants (opens in new tab) can be worn together or separately. The Keeping Score (opens in new tab) sneakers are a revamped version of a classic design. Everything is made to be lived in—and to make you feel in control.
When I catch up with Ambrose to chat about the brand new collection, she has just landed in Los Angeles to celebrate Oscars weekend after a very hectic fashion month spent sitting front-row in New York and Milan. Even over Zoom, her excitement for the new drop is palpable. Ahead, Ambrose and I chat about her favorite pieces from the collection, her shopping mentality, and the accessories that make her feel empowered.
On Her Career Path:
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"I started as a costume designer [with] music videos. Character development was a very important part of the work that I did, and I approached everything from that aesthetic. The whole streetwear conversation is what got picked up in the mainstream. When you think about all the big fashion houses today, they are rooted in streetwear.
"I love that that's my foundation and that it's something that's so culturally relevant now. PUMA, even back then, was a go-to for sneakers, tracksuits, et cetera, and being able to creative direct with them is like having a full circle moment because I would always reference athletic brands and PUMA was definitely one of them. Now that I get to lead and design and lend my vision to this audience in expanding the sportswear space and bridging that streetwear conversation in this space."
On Her Morning Routine:
"In order for me to keep my sanity and not have a complete meltdown, wellness is very, very important to me. I start my day with a seven-minute mindful meditation, and a stretch on my Oculus—the Oculus has changed my life because I can just get up, go into my living room and have this moment when you can't get to the gym. The gym is a production to me. I have a gym membership at Equinox, but that's like going to a show, so I have to really have to figure out a routine that made sense for my lifestyle. Hydration is super key, so I have eight ounces of water. As soon as I wake up, I read the news. I do my hit list for the day, and then I'm getting dressed."
On Being a Mood Dresser:
"I've always been a mood dresser. It's such an emotional journey. Style is about the character, and I build my look like I'm building the character for the day. Who do I want to become? Who do I want to attract? For me, it's all so emotional and it's so much about the mood. Weather is something you can easily adjust, but a mood? That's instinctual. I really tap into that. I think it really sets the tone for how I'm going to alter my mood with fashion and style because I can become that character and shift my mood immediately."
On Her Shopping Philosophy:
"I don't want to be trendy. I'm always thinking about pieces that have a lot of attitude, style-by-design, or things that I can infuse into my wardrobe. When you have your classic pieces, when you think about a style-by-design piece, it's like the punctuation. I'm always looking for those moments. I'm really into details, so it's the little things to me that really make it.
"Everything's an investment to me. When I purchase things, I look at everything as a solid investment. Am I going to look at this next season and still feel good about it? [I love] things that have function and that are functional and classic but still have punctuation for people to take note of."
On The Accessory That Make Her Feel Empowered:
"My signature eyewear. I'm always sporting a strong accessory and I have my own eyewear collection with Selima. I intentionally wanted to design something that really spoke that costume designer energy. Like, iconic. My Edna frames—they're named after things that feel like superheroes. I do feel like artists and creative people are superheroes and I wanted to celebrate our artistic contribution through the lens of framing your face and things that kind of become makeup. That's that one accessory that empowers me."
On Her Spring and Summer Uniform
"My Keeping Score Traveling Track Pants, leggings, and a cardigan, I love a cardigan. It's just something that's so parochial, but so sophisticated and it elevates the sporty pieces in a very classic, timeless way. I'm big on buttoned-down shirts and wovens. I think there's just something again that's classy and business and, and easy. I think my Keeping Scores SlipSteam chunky sneakers are gonna be my go-to spring uniform pieces."
Shop June's Favorite Pieces
Julia Marzovilla is the E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers everything from the latest beauty and fashion launches and sales to celebrity outfits and news. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and STYLECASTER. In her spare time, Julia can be found creating shopping guides for all of her friends, spending too much money on yet another pair of black boots, and cooking in her far-too-small kitchen.
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