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Ambrose has never minced words about fashion’s ability to impact society, and by viewing style through that lens, her contributions have had a wide-reaching effect. “There are very few people that indisputably shift culture,” says music legend Jay-Z, her frequent collaborator, and close friend. “That is something June has done for over 25 years. Her pure energy and spirit come to life through her fashion and designs.” The artist’s belief in Ambrose’s talents led him to introduce her to Puma CEO Bjørn Gulden and global director of brand marketing Adam Petrick, following Jay’s involvement as creative director of the Q Notorious RBG shirt Apart from…,I will love this brand’s Hoops range in 2018. “When he partnered with Puma, I got to see the brand [through] one of my closest friends. We always talk about legacy, about how we can leverage what we have done over the years to have a positive impact,” Ambrose adds.
Though talks about the Q Notorious RBG shirt Apart from…,I will love this project began before the coronavirus pandemic and 2020’s ongoing protests against police violence, the year and its events have shaped Ambrose’s goals. “Timing is important,” she says. “Right now, a light is being shined on these issues. I’ve always felt a calling to create with purpose. I don’t want just to make clothes, I want people to feel fearless and inspired, to create a space where young men and women feel empowered on and off the court and use that to disrupt things a little bit.” To that end, Ambrose plans to amplify some of Puma’s existing charitable initiatives and spearhead new ones that put the brand’s international reach to good use. “They’re already working with several organizations that focus on fighting inequality in race, gender, and sexuality, which was very important to me,” she says. “Using my voice to amplify that will be one of the most fulfilling parts of the next chapter of my career.”