Each New York Fashion Week season June Ambrose is a whirlwind. Seriously. I’d say blink and you miss her as she bobs and weaves — dressed like she’s on a runway herself — to different designer’s shows but it’s impossible not to notice her presence as a frenzy of paparazzi tries to snap her picture with the same furor they try to capture celebs. In the middle of the fashion frenzy she’s an expert multitasker: after graciously posing, giving soundbites to reporters and greeting to her notable front row friends she’s focused while snapping pictures of the hottest designs to note for clients, and takes her 500K+ social media fans along for the ride sharing real-time updates on Twitter and Instagram (all, of course after chronicling early morning “Rockmom” time with her two children). To say Ambrose is busy is an understatement, so when the super stylist’s publicists call and say she’s pausing long enough to have a 9am breakfast to show off her new collection for HSN, “June by June Ambrose,” you wipe the sleep out of your eyes and head down to The Empire Hotel to catch her while you can.
How Ambrose has had time to create — let alone present — her own collection in the mist of her schedule is beyond, but after styling a roster of loyal celeb clientele (Jay Z, Diddy, Mary J. Blige, et al), penning a style book, and appearing in her own TV show, it’s a natural evolution. Last February she dipped her toe into the designing waters with a line of shoes, but for Fall 2014 she’s expanding to dresses, separates, and even more accessories including hats and bags you’d totally imagine her wearing about town. As I tried to perk up with coffee in attempt to match her bubbly early-morning energy, June nibbled a banana muffin and spilled the tea on her new style offerings.
The concept: staple clothing pieces with details that pop to be paired with statment-making accessories. “My girl is tough, she has an urban edge to her. She likes punctuation, she’s kind of sassy, but she’s glam,” June tells us. “She wants easy so in her apparel she wear the same leggings and jeans and wrap dresses all the time and keep adding different boots and bags. It’s like if I had to pack and we were going away for a week I could take every piece in this small collection I have now and with a turtleneck and a T-shirt and a blouse — a button up blouse — and be fine. Then you could have, literally, a suitcase of shoes and reinvent the looks.” If she had to pick celebs to dress using the collection, June names stars Dianna Ross, Jennifer Lopez, Brooke Shields and Miley Cyrus as examples. A wide range of ages and styles, but that’s the point. “I’m all about the girl who’s able to preserve herself,” she says. “My demo: I want that girl who’s in her 20s and that girl who’s in her 60s to wear my stuff and I want the girl to translate the pieces in her way, how she sees it.”
The tightly edited collection, which ranges from $79.99-$199, is composed of clothing options that can stay in your closet awhile. Simple-yet-chic, dresses — including a long-sleeved red wrap dress with crisscross detailing in front and longs-sleeved frock in cobalt, with chain pattering — could be dressed up or down. A mid-calf faux leather skirt (one of my personal favorites) with pockets could see action as the weather starts to turn in fall and, paired with tights, make it’s way into the colder winter months. On the day we met, June wore faux leather slim cut pants from the collection with a surprise of plaid detailing in the back. While she modeling a way to make them classic — with a white button up, oversized blazer and peep-toe cut out wedge booties for extra edge — they could certainly be edged up with a different top and shoes.
Which brings us to the accessories that punctuate the line. To be sure, each was crafted to make a statement. There are handbags that feature chain detailing, leather print paneling and fur trimming (some feature mixes of all of the above). A signature fur hat that fans of Ambrose’s bold headgear Ambrose often wears. And the shoes? Anything but boring. “Every shoe is styled by design and for me they all make an outfit feel like something else or they all give it purpose,” she says. “I think that’s really important that an accessory gives a look purpose, that’s what accessories are about.”
The shoe offerings includes more classic winter boots, strappy sandals in metallics and animal print, oxford shoes with chain detailing and flashier cut-out booties and point-toe pumps with fur cuffs with bold color options. Some of the complex footwear designs won’t be for the fashion faint of heart, but June says: “I have faith in my customer. I feel like she’s a little bit more fashion forward, I feel like she’s going to take a little more risk and if she’s not she’s going to start with the wedge or the strappy sandal, and once she sees me wearing it or other girls wearing it she’s going to say ‘oh that is cute on, I want them.'”
While I tried to picture how some of the shoes would be worn in every-day life I had to remember: this is the woman whose self-described career defining moments include dressing Missy Elliot in that inflated black vinyl Michelin suit in “The Rain” music video and Diddy in a shiny, bright suits in “‘Mo Money Mo Problems.” The woman who got Jay Z out of jeans and loving Tom Ford so much he dedicated a song to the designer, and in recent years helped turbans become widely trendy on the red carpet and in everyday wear. Taking fashion risks–and empowering others to follow suit– is her thing, and that’s why we love her style in the first place. “I know I’m really good at convincing someone they need something,” she notes. “I come from the world of music and fashion where you’re selling things you believe in your whole heart are going to win. So I’ve never had a problem telling a celebrity client that turns out to be a muse this is where they should to go. What makes a customer so different?”
If you are on the fence about trying bold new trends that hit the shelves this season–in this collection or otherwise–consider June’s fashion philosophy: “We all have star power. That star power is confidence, it’s believing that you have purpose, that you are somebody that you can rule the world. That’s really what this collection embodies. It’s unapologetic, it has a lot of verve and gumption and it’s brazen. And even if you’re too shy and think you can’t pull something off I say you put one foot forward first, take one step at a time to getting to that place because truly style is a journey and you’re not at your destination until you feel whole.”
There’s even more fashion to look forward to from Ambrose as she’s already completed a Spring 2015 line. “Spring is done and it’s beautiful,” she says. “I’m playing with a lot of color for spring — I teased it a little on Instagram.” (See that here!) “They’re two different deliveries: there’s cowboy and then there’s floral so there’s like a girl who goes from one rhapsody to another, always maintaining a sense of toughness. And the shoe collection is just exquisite. A lot of mix media, perforated suedes, new refreshing cloths and materials.” What is she still dying to do that she hasn’t done yet between her impressive roster of projects: “Have my own magazine,” she says with a smile, teasing, “there’s something in the works!”
See pieces we spotted from June Ambrose’s Fashion Week presentation in the gallery below! Will you shop the collection for fall?
Visit HSN.com now to shop limited pieces from the June by June Ambrose collection! Then mark your calendars for a whole new wave of styles to debut September 12, when June Ambrose will appear on the network at 1am to 2pm, 2pm to 3pm and 6pm to 7pm to talk pieces. Even more new styles will be rolled out this November.