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Fashion

Black in Fashion Spotlight: June Ambrose's Multifaceted Journey Through The Industry

From celebrity wardrobe styling to creative directing and fashion design.

Do a deep dive into hip-hop, film, and fashion from the '90s and '00s, and chances are you'll come across the work of June Ambrose. A leader in the style-meets-entertainment space, Ambrose has since built an empire all her own. See how she continues to cement her impact on the industry today.

Some may argue the '90s and '00s was a golden era for music videos and Ambrose is a big reason why. From Missy Elliot's "The Rain" to Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson's "What's It Gonna Be?!", her wardrobe styling brought high fashion to hip-hop, pushing boundaries and setting the bar.

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Taking a leap of faith in the early stages of her career, Ambrose left a corporate investment banking position for an internship at Uptown/MCA records, landing her first styling gig with no professional training.

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Starting out with up-and-coming music groups, Ambrose went on to form her own styling company, Modé Squad, Inc. With over 25 years now under her belt, she boasts a client list that includes Will Smith, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy (who says Ambrose was the first to put him in Gucci), and Jay Z.

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With experience costume designing for high school theatre, it's no surprise the fashion pioneer's expertise extends into the arena of film, including her work with Hype Williams' notable and often-referenced 1998 drama, Belly.

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Speaking of pioneering, we may have Ambrose to thank for the popularity of brand-celeb collaborations today, as she creative directed a joint fashion line between Adidas and Missy Elliot in the early 2000s.

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Ambrose decided to spread her knowledge of fashion and personal style in 2006, when she released the book Effortless Style. She shared her best-kept secrets on how to use your wardrobe to tap into your most authentic self and inner celebrity.

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Soon came professional fashion design for the trendsetter, releasing a sunglasses line in 2012, along with a turban collection — both staple elements of Ambrose's eclectic personal style.

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Ambrose took her talents to reality TV in 2012 with VH1's Styled By June, offering an inside look into her professional life as she worked to revamp the images of celebrities in the entertainment industry. Around the same time, she worked with The X Factor as a style architect.

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With no signs of her star power dwindling, the entrepreneur now sits as Creative Director at Puma, a collaboration announced in 2020. Working with the brand on women's key product design, Ambrose's first collection is set to launch in 2021.

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Read the rest of our 'Black In Fashion Spotlight' series on: Dapper Dan, Coco Mitchell, and Ruth E. Carter.

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