June Ambrose

Discussion in 'The Fashion Pack' started by Janard Williams, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    BIO by Larissa Zaharuk

    In the image-obsessed world of music, who do the hottest artists call for a total fashion re-haul? With a career spanning over a decade, and a clientele which includes such icons as Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey, Sean Combs and Jay-Z, June Ambrose is the reigning queen of the trade.

    Yet, informs Ambrose, “Studying fashion was a privilege I did not have. My family emigrated from Antigua thirty years ago. There was no FIT, only books on costume-design—and I read them all!” Ambrose, who “always had aspirations of living in this big melting pot of a city,” found all the inspiration she needed from its streets: “In LA, your car is your armor. In New York, our sidewalks are our runways—we define ourselves through fashion.”

    “I started my company Mod Squad in 1994, completely self-managed,” the CEO recounts, “And it’s become a total creative service. It’s brand imaging—discovering the artist’s alter ego and building a lifestyle around it—the sheets, the fragrance, the luggage.”

    But while “one hundred-thousand dollar budgets and three tour buses of wardrobe” can be standard form for a two-minute R Kelly music video, the field wasn’t always so flush.

    Ambrose began as an intern at MCA Records (now Geffen), when “the industry was truly a blank canvas—no one was dressing celebrities! Sixteen years later, music and fashion have fused and evolved, and the styling business is over-saturated,” she explains. “I’ve worked on more than one hundred and fifty videos and had the most nominated, one year, in the history of any stylist at the MTV awards. I’ve cultivated many of today's best artists”

    However, it was a previous stint in investment banking that inspired the entrepreneur. “I learned much about using money productively, and it helped me find my entrepreneurial spirit. But it was not the creative environment that I desired, and I knew if I stayed I would never be happy. It's courageous to leave a weekly paycheck and pursue clients. My parents were confused as to why I sacrificed benefits for an internship. They get it now,” she winks.

    The ambitious intern carried over this same drive when courting her first styling client at MCA—without so much as a portfolio. “It was about seizing the opportunity and building it into a business!” Ambrose exclaims. And in the business of building brands, none has proven more remunerative than her own.

    “We are consistently creating a platform,” informs the media-savvy mogul. “I published my book Effortless Style in 2006, which shares all of my anecdotes about how you too can have star power, and I’m continually launching into different categories"—including a follow-up book as well as television appearances ranging from Oprah to MTV’s “Rock The Cradle”.

    Ironically, Ambrose admits, “I never had a publicist. I want to enjoy my passion—otherwise, I don't want to work!” The style-broker is thrilled, however, by the opportunity that her prestige affords her to give back.

    “Charities rely on celebrities, and as a mother of two, I’m involved in those that benefit children. We do clothing drives, Christmas events, speak at fashion colleges and the New York Library, and get celebrities involved. I'm also on the board of the Ronald McDonald House, designing a bracelet that celebrities will want to wear on the Red Carpet.”

    Still, Ambrose understands the fine line between dressing and playing the star. “I've always been a star in my mind, that’s how I create the magic for them, but you have to balance it: I was on TV yesterday, now I'm tying your shoes. It’s still a service business”

    “I don’t hang out at parties or clubs. It's hard for me to get glammed-up after making my clients fabulous,” continues Ambrose. “And they don't pay me to rant and rave, they pay me to find solutions! I like to exceed the client’s vision and the commercial packaging—if I'm putting a diamond lapel on a hard-core rapper, I'm selling it, and if I question myself once, it's over! But I pick my battles. I say: I'm going to leave you this decision. When you need me, I'm outside the door.”

    Her style-advice for the rest of us? “New York women should think timeless and invest in quality that they can hand down. And you need a workable wardrobe: not just a bunch of stuff, but things that you really admire. I love to be able to just throw such things on and appear effortless. With my lifestyle, that's all I have time for.”

    And time is a commodity that the manic mother of two steadfastly defends. “I couldn’t take maternity leave, but my kids are supportive because of what this is going to ultimately bring us. Every job, my babies were there. I was like: you want me to show up? I need a trailer, I'm nursing! I'm strict about my time—I end my day at a certain hour, and weekends are important—I don't take phone calls.”

    “I don't manage any of the business now at all,” continues Ambrose. “I'm just creative at this point: the umbrella of my company. I'm really able to focus on being a good mom and balancing a quality life, and that’s the biggest reward, trust me.” With a loving family behind her and an ever-expanding industry ahead, Ambrose has taken that blank canvas and created a living masterpiece.


    ontheinside.info/author/june-ambrose
     
  2. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    facebook/juneambrose
     
  3. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    Janard Williams New Member

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    facebook/juneambrose
     
  5. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    zimbio/prphotos
     
    #5 Janard Williams, Oct 23, 2010
    Last edited by moderator aryxox: Oct 23, 2010
  6. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    twitpic



    youtube
     
  7. LabelWhore4

    LabelWhore4 New Member

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    She's my hero. Does she ever style for magazines? I'd love to see what she'd do!
     
  8. high maintenance

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    I know, we need more pics of this woman, oh yeah shes getting a show on VH1!
     
  9. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    vogue black. stylecaster
     
  10. ThisVixen

    ThisVixen New Member

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    I had no idea she had a thread, should be a million pic in this thread......
     
  11. Love$2shop

    Love$2shop New Member

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    ^^^ DITTO! She is amazing! Any ID on denim romper she has on in post # 9? TIA :smile:
     
  12. ThisVixen

    ThisVixen New Member

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    its J.crew Collection
     
  13. Love$2shop

    Love$2shop New Member

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  14. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    twitter.com/juneambrose
     
  15. KhaoticKharma

    KhaoticKharma Amour Comme Hiver

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    I really love her story. As someone else who doesn't really have the luxury of jumping right into fashion (without living in a cardboard box under a bridge), I find her very inspiring :smile: Can we get any pics of her work? Music videos and stuff?
     
  16. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    nytimes

    The Remedy for Celebrities Who Lose Their Swagger

    By LOLA OGUNNAIKE

    THE celebrity stylist June Ambrose was ensconced in Bergdorf Goodman’s sun-drenched restaurant, BG, demonstrating the fine art of modern self-portraiture.
    “Darling, it’s all about the angles,” she explained as she turned her cheek to the light, extending her arm just so, before snapping a picture of herself with her ever-present iPhone. She tinkered with the photo and then released it into the Twittersphere (or “Juniverse,” as she calls her online world).
    “They want exclusive content, and they want access,” Ms. Ambrose said of her most fervent fans, which she lovingly calls her “style socials.” “And they want authenticity and that’s what I give them.”
    Her voracious tweeting — 15 to 20 missives a day — has netted her more than 300,000 followers. With Twitter, Ms. Ambrose, who has outfitted everyone from Mary J. Blige to Kelly Ripa, has found an outlet and a platform, a place where she can share her style musings, must-haves and snapshots. “Fashion mags weren’t really recognizing me, so I created my own space,” she said.
    “I’m the Anna Wintour of my Twitter page,” she added.
    To some, Ms. Ambrose is already a fashion grande dame. Beating out more than 30 peers, she was recently cast as the “style architect” of Simon Cowell’s new television talent contest, “The X Factor.” Her job is to create looks for each of the 17 acts that will win over the judges and television viewers. “This is the biggest styling gig of my career,” she said. “It’s all genres of music and all ages. It’s exhausting, but I’m in creative animal mode and everything is flowing.”
    In addition to her “X Factor” duties, Ms. Ambrose is filming a reality TV show of her own, “Styled by June,” which will be shown on VH1 in February. Cameras follow as she tries to rehabilitate the careers of celebrities who have lost their swagger. Think Dr. Drew meets Rachel Zoe. “What we stylists do is very intimate,” she said. “We’re literally stripping someone to their core, and clothing is only the first layer.”
    When she’s not racing around with television cameras, she’s overseeing a staff of seven at Modé Squad, her 17-year-old styling company based in the fashion district. In the previous week, she dressed Jay-Z, a longtime client, for the photo shoot for GQ magazine, and the pop sensation Jason Derulo for his latest video. She also outfitted the actor Jaleel White (best known as Steve Urkel) for an event that the two hosted at the Paul Stuart boutique in downtown Manhattan.
    Ms. Ambrose, 40, a married mother of two, also wrote daily beauty tips for Revlon’s All Access iPhone app, filled swag bags for her 10-year-old son’s birthday party and readied her family for their three-month stint in Los Angeles, where “The X Factor” tapes. (She and her family live in a two-bedroom condominium in Midtown, overlooking the East River.)
    “The husband, the nanny, the two dogs, the kids — they’re all coming,” she said with a deep exhale. “My husband is my manager. My daughter likes to be on set with me, and my son is into photography. It’s a family affair.”
    In her 20 years in the styling business, Ms. Ambrose has created some of hip-hop’s most iconic looks. She outfitted Sean Combs in shiny metallic leather suits during his chart-topping years, Busta Rhymes in elaborate caftans (“Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”) and Missy Elliott in an inflatable rubber contraption that defied logic and gravity (“The Rain”).
    Inspired by the famed costume designer Edith Head and emboldened by her close collaborator, the video director Hype Williams, she felt free to push artistic boundaries. “We weren’t making videos, we were making movies,” she said. “I wanted to bring high fashion to urban music, to bring aspiration, imagination, luxury.”
    She has succeeded, said several of her music world friends who showed up at Spice Market in the meatpacking district this month, to wish her bon voyage to Los Angeles. “She single-handedly cleaned up hip-hop,” said the producer Swizz Beatz (and husband of Alicia Keys), who was wearing a Maison Martin Margiela jacket, Dolce & Gabbana slacks and Lanvin sneakers. “She took guys who were only used to wearing Timberland boots and baggy jeans, and put them in cuff links and Tom Ford suits.”
    Mr. Combs added that Ms. Ambrose was one of the first to put him in Gucci. “She is fashion,” said Mr. Combs, who held a party for her six years ago, to toast her first book, “Effortless Style.” “She lives it and breathes it.”
    And she is not one for understatement. Ms. Ambrose is often seen zipping around New York City in oversize black sunglasses, bold red lipstick and a giant turban. “I love a good lid,” she declared. “I like the punctuation of a hat. I like the drama.”
    Her conversation is as colorful as her impressive wardrobe. In fact, she’s created an entire Ambrosian lexicon of her own. “I don’t say things are hot, I say they’re haute,” she purred. “Glamour-flage” (rhymes with “camouflage”) is another favorite. Definition? To wear Brobdingnagian accessories in a stylized effort to shield or distract. How about using it in a sentence? At the Bergdorf lunch, she donned a Miu Miu wool cap, which she had bought moments earlier to “glamour-flage her hair.”
    “I don’t love my curl today,” she admitted with a self-deprecating chuckle.
    She’s quick to point out her flaws. The imperceptible scar on her lip from a childhood fall. Her unattractive toes, brutalized by her love of perilously high stilettos. “I’m on my second pair of feet,” she said. “The heels have to be at least six inches. I’m vertically challenged. I’m 5-3. If I took off my shoes, you’d feel sorry for me.”
    Ms. Ambrose grew up on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, in a one-bedroom tenement she shared with her single mother and older sister. As a teenager in the ’80s, she dressed in elaborate get-ups to glamour-flage her severe acne. She was often teased as the odd duck. “I’d wear a ponytail with watches in my hair or mismatched tights,” she said. “They didn’t know what to make of me.”
    Her dream to attend LaGuardia High School (the “Fame” school) was dashed when she blew her audition, but she flourished at Julia Richman Talented Unlimited High School, a small public school on the Upper East Side. “If I wasn’t in the play, I was costume designing,” she said. Upon graduating, she skipped college and landed a good job as an office administrator at S. G. Warburg & Company, a London investment bank.
    But after two years, she decided finance wasn’t for her. Her mother was devastated, but Ms. Ambrose, armed with a lean stock portfolio she cobbled together while working there, felt liberated. She lived off her portfolio earnings while interning at MCA Records, where she began styling up-and-coming groups, Ultramagnetic MC’s and 702. Before long, she was traveling the globe and styling bigger players like Ms. Blige, Enrique Iglesias, the Backstreet Boys, Will Smith and Mariah Carey.
    “I introduced Puffy to J. Lo,” she said. “They met on the set of the ‘Been Around the World’ video, and the rest is history.”
    Nowadays, she is the one being introduced. In addition to styling, she is finishing a capsule line for Selima Optique that hits stores this coming spring, and has plans to start an accessories, apparel and home furnishings collection.
    “My goal is to bring effortless style to the masses,” she said, finishing her lunch. “With some punctuation, of course.”
     
  17. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    twitter.com/juneambrose
     
  18. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    twitter.com/juneambrose
     
  19. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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    VH1 grabbed up one of the queens of celebrity style, June Ambrose, to give them one of their first fashion docu-reality shows.

    “The June Ambrose Project,” (working title) a half-hour docu-series, is scheduled to premiere in early 2012.

    June, who has a son, Chance, and daughter, Summer, with her hubby Marc, has been styling and designing wardrobe for over 20 years for A-list folks like Sean Combs, Alicia Keys, Kelly Ripa, Kim Cattrall, Jay Z, and Mary J Blige. So we may just get to see her in action with some of these folks.




    Here's the breakdown of the show from VH1:

    In “The June Ambrose Project,” June and her team of tireless assistants will take on a mix of up-and-coming and established celebrity clients – some actors, some musicians -- who would like to re-imagine their looks and brands. Each episode will chronicle an image makeover and overall rebranding, culminating in a visually stunning event designed to focus on the celebrity’s new look.

    In addition to makeovers, viewers will get to see how June juggles her family life, CEO of her celebrity styling house Mode Squad and her burgeoning empire. Adding to June’s to-do list is a record label, books and a plethora of assignments ranging from celebrity clients, fashion shows and photo shoots to emergency style interventions for friends she can never turn down.

    “We at VH1 are so thrilled to dive into the fashion world with none other than the industry’s top styling icon, June Ambrose,” said Jeff Olde, EVP, Original Programming and Production VH1. “June is a true original and a creative force of nature who will offer our viewers an exclusive peek behind the curtain into her world of celeb fashion and branding.”


    theybf.com youtube.com
     
    #19 Janard Williams, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited by moderator aryxox: Nov 8, 2011
  20. Janard Williams

    Janard Williams New Member

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