As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we choose to honor the women who have set the standard for cultural style and grace within the industry. Now more than ever before, women are not just walking the runways, they are leading the vision of what’s on them. From ready-to-wear streetwear to high-end luxury designs, these women in particular have made their mark on the cultural landscape the value of wearability and accessibility in fashion. Creating designs for women by women and beyond.
Yoon Ahn (AMBUSH)
IYKYK. And if you’re a sneakerhead, you might recognize some of this artist’s most notable works. Tokyo-based fashion designer and founder of AMBUSH, Yoon Ahn has become sneaker culture’s most influential designer today thanks to her exclusive collaboration with Nike. If you’re not aware, allow me to school you. Ever notice the extended Nike Swooshes that stick out past the silhouette? Yep, that’s her. This element draws its inspiration from Japanese bike, car, and truck culture, which explains the re-imagined proportions on the silhouette that almost makes it look aerodynamic. Features like the extended Swoosh and prominent heel counter nod to the extended tail pipes and lifted rear chassis of motorcycles and trucks.
The former Dior Homme jewelry designer turned streetwear visionary has created a multifaceted career that beautifully maps out an inspiring path. The AMBUSH brand founder and creative director has been front row to the music and fashion world with her network spanning the likes of Rihanna and many more.
Yoon’s style embodies Japanese futurism infusing timeless fashion with a streetwear hybrid mentality. From rebellious ‘90s-inspired raves to highly sought-after Nike drops, the AMBUSH creator has a way of giving the culture what it needs. Her Fall 2023 collection was substantial in telling a story of character development by showcasing kids who partied too much getting sent away to private school– a story most city kids are all too familiar with.
Her punk spirit and ‘90s flair caters to a broader, genderless audience. Tailoring trench coats, baggy trousers, schoolgirl skirts, and zippered details are just the tip of the iceberg for the fashion label. The overall AMBUSH brand houses some of fashion’s most solid pieces. From high-couture collections working New York City and Paris runways, to hot sneaker releases of Nike Air Force 1 silhouettes, Yoon is one of our culture’s current queen of streetwear.
Yoon has taken great strides in being a student of the culture through experience and curiosity. Yoon Ahn and the AMBUSH brand far transcends its vision both on Earth and beyond, and this trailblazing fashion designer is only just beginning of our list.
Danielle Guizio is leading the charge in blending femininity and streetwear.Hailing from a small town in New Jersey, the fashion designer first began her career selling graphic T-Shirts online with only $400 in her savings account and working out of her parent’s basement. In 2014, the Danielle Guzio label transcended into a subversive sensuality of bold femininity that empowers and celebrates the female form. Since then, Guizio has expanded her brand internationally while creating collaborations and landing a spot on Forbes 30 under 30.
The Danielle Guizio label has been favorited by pop culture supermodels such as Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, and is reaching new heights in a way that is both comforting and sensual. Her collection of pieces range from her signature corsets, mini dresses, and woven knits, showcasing asymmetrical details with purposeful cutouts for the ultimate chic look. To be in a Danielle Guzio design means to be a woman on the rise– and that’s exactly who she is.
In 2018, Forbes estimated a $2.5 million revenue for the Danielle Guzio brand. Not bad for a gal with only $400 in the bank.
Melody Ehsani (ME)
Melody Ehsani is one of sneaker culture’s leading ladies. Rooted in her Persian heritage and blending international design into her work, the fashion icon has gone beyond her start of garment and jewelry design now boasting collaborations with Jordan Brand, Nike, Reebok and a number of high-profile celebrities, Ehsani has had countless sold out drops and anticipated collections. She is also a force to be reckoned with within street culture, activism, and community.
Upon becoming the first women’s Global Creative Director of Foot Locker, Melody released one of the most highly sought-after Air Jordan silhouettes in modern sneaker culture. The Air Jordan 1 Mid became a sneaker that everyone wanted to get their hands on. It’s no secret that the coveted pair was both fierce in design and quality, with her gold plated signature style giving edge to the iconic silhouette, but the designer made it a point to intersect style with inspiration. The handwritten message stating “if you knew what you had was rare, you would never waste it,” on the sole is only a mere reflection of Ehsani’s rare spectrum on how she sees the world around us.
When Melody isn’t reigning as queen of sneaker culture, she is a business pioneer with infectious designs from her namesake label ME. The designer has also been able to launch collaborations with Serena Williams, Lauryn Hill, and has been featured across major platforms and publications from Vogue to Vanity Fair. We were even lucky enough to bring some of her visions to life with our 2022 Coachella Merch Collection in partnership with soulful singer and artist Snoh Aalegra.
The Melody Ehsani resume is in heavyweight standards. Currently, the designer has launched multiple collections under the Foot Locker brand that carries a variety of bold and abstract pieces. Melody also recently dropped her most notable launches yet, a new baby. The brand new mom continues to evolve in her career and we can’t wait to see what she does next. ME Baby, maybe?
Olivia Kim (Nordstrom & Jordan Brand)
When Olivia Kim first stepped onto the fashion and sneaker scene she instantly commanded attention. You might argue that Kim is not the traditional fashion designer like the rest of the list, but there’s no denying that her influence is just as palpable. The Nordstrom Vice President of Creative Projects began her career in 2013 after working for the eclectic Opening Ceremony brand for over a decade. Her responsibility at the retail giant consisted of creating unique “pop-in” experiences where Nordstrom flagships dedicated a temporary shopping experience around a core theme with a range of luxury goods, collectible art installments, and more.
Her burst of energy, quirky personality, and fun-loving spirit illustrates beautifully through her work as she’s able to generate unique ideas and engage customers. At Nordstrom, she became instrumental in making sure female fashion and needs were at the forefront by bringing in young and fresh brands like Jacquemus and Chanel into Nordstrom stores.
Kim has also been vocal about her long-standing affection for ‘90s style and sneaker culture. The Olivia Kim x Nike No Cover collection comprised of a capsule of Air Jordan silhouettes and apparel to match. Her most buzzing piece in the collection was the Air Jordan 4 Black Cat. Nicknamed after Michael Jordan with a rare pony hair texture, this sneaker is still an instant hit among sneakerheads.
Olivia Kim is the epitome of girl boss. From her existing balance of corporate chic and quirky ‘90s streetwear, Kim has a way of making her style effortlessly cool. She’s recreated some of Jordan brand’s most classic silhouettes, brought us nostalgia with her love of ‘90s culture and retro style, and made a willingness to give consumers what they truly want. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Jessica Jung & Damu Kwon (We11Done)
Approved by some of current culture’s most influential style icons, We11Done has become the “It” brand of the fashion industry. The South Korean brand, run by Jessica Jung and Dami Kwon, offers offbeat designs that are both part streetwear and tailored to fit like a glove. You might have seen their works on celebs like Billie Eilish, Angelababy, K-Pop’s G-Dragon, and more.
Jessica and Dami have been a part of the style scene way before We11Done. They’re also the brilliant minds behind Seoul’s coolest store called Rare Market, which houses carefully curated international designs.
We11Done showcases both menswear and womenswear eloquently and effortlessly. Not only are their designs stocked at top global e-commerce retailers around the world, but their collections have hit the runways during Paris Fashion Week in SS20 as well as releasing an ‘imaginary traveling’ collection of menswear for SS21. Some of their most notable ready-to-wear designs feature their statement-making round-neck knits and off-shoulder dresses.
Most recently, We11Done created a more avant-garde SS23 collection that blended more modern streetwear with elegant tailoring. Continuing with their oversized silhouettes and Korean flair, the collection was infused with punk and rock that electrified the era of romanticism and rebellion.
The ability to transform the most unconventional designs into walking works of art is pure gold for the dynamic duo. We11Done has been scoring in the game for quite some time and we’re enjoying the show.