What: Bvlgari has unveiled the latest installment of its three-year-old designer collaboration series, Serpenti Through The Eyes Of, with cult Japanese jewellery and streetwear fashion label Ambush. The capsule collection sees Ambush – founded in 2008 by designer Yoon Ahn and her rap producer husband,Young-Kee Yu, a.k.a. Verbal – stamping its trademark experimental cool on a series of limited-edition handbags, bracelets, and small leather goods in nappa leather.
Central to the collection are the interpretations of the jewellery Maison’s Serpenti Forever bag which has been reworked as a belt bag, a shoulder bag and a heart-shaped novelty minaudiere. Fans of Ambush will note that the textured curvilinear metal handle of the shoulder bag alludes to the label’s signature carabiner jewellery designs.
True to Ambush’s irreverent style (it has made a necklace with a USB-shaped pendant and a shirt that comes with a detachable hat), the bags feature an oversized quilting motif which gives the designs a curvaceous, almost balloon-like effect.
The trademark Serpenti Forever snakehead closure, meanwhile, is clad in monotone leather with eyes in mother-of-pearl (for the black bags) and onyx (for the coloured ones). Speaking of colours, the saturated hues of green, pink, blue and black is a nod to Yoon’s inspiration: the Tree Python of South East Asia, a species famed for its striking, artificial-looking green hue.
Who: Seattle-born Yoon is the jewellery designer-turned-fashion designer who has brought a fresh and (unisex) approach to what hip-hop-inspired designs should be. Along the way, the self-taught Korean-American designer has found fans in stars like Pharell, Kanye and Rihanna.
She eventually went on to be shortlisted for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize in 2017 before her good friend and Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones handpicked her to be the brand’s jewellery designer in 2019.
She once told an American fashion title of the thrill at being recognised by the fashion cognoscenti for the LVMH Prize three years ago: “It’s just nice that I’m standing there with graduates from, like CSM, and you know, all the fashion school people. It’s so funny. They’re like, ‘So, where did you go to school?’ I’m self-taught. I have no degree.”
Why bother: Besides the fact that these are some of the hippest Bvlgari bags we’ve ever seen, the tie-up can be summed up in one word: collectible. After all, Ambush is one of the most sought-after names for collaborations and has worked with brands like Nike, Converse, A Bathing Ape, Undercover, Sacai and Shu Uemura in the past.
But more interestingly, the joint effort with Bvlgari shows how Yoon can turn up some brilliant ideas when it comes to designing bags and leather goods – a category that is still missing from Ambush’s repertoire. In an article with the South China Morning Post earlier this year, Yoon stated that “I don’t sign up for collaborations unless it’s people I respect and can learn from. The key word is ‘learn’.”
When and where: Pre-orders – which we strongly recommend you make – are available on www.bulgari.com/en-
How Much: Prices range from $450 for a card case to $9,350 for the aluminium heart-shaped minaudiere.