Jay-Z calls her his “secretary of style”.
In addition to Jay, she has worked as a stylist for Mary J. Blige, P.Diddy and Janet Jackson – among others.
She has crafted some of the hottest and most memorable looks in hip-hop – and that is no hyperbole.
Remember Missy Elliot’s inflatable ‘bag’ suit in the music video for The Rain?
Or Puffy and Biggie’s shiny suits in Mo Money, Mo Problems?
That was all the work of June Ambrose, hip-hop’s ultimate stylist and style influencer.
Oh, and did we mention she’s an island girl? That last name was a dead giveaway, wasn’t it? Of course, she hails from Antigua.
Like a dutiful West Indian girl, June beat some serious books and became an investment banker.
But she’d always had a love for fashion, even if it was not something she could indulge right away, as she told On the Inside:
“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!”
She eventually switched from investment banking to fashion – taking a major risk by starting out as an intern with MCA records, something she freely admits her parents did not understand at the time, though, obviously they “get it now” that June is on Oprah and The View dropping fashion knowledge.
With typical islandista hustle, June is a brand in herself – besides styling and her television appearances, she has written a book – Effortless Style, and she is ranked one of the most valuable entertainment Twitterers in the twittersphere. And, she’s a mother of two.
And even in her styling, she keeps it Caribbean, taking inspiration from Carnival, as she told The Source.com about the thinking behind Busta Rhymes (another of our island peoples!) “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” video:
“It was just a time where music videos and the treatments warranted something that was cinematic and alternative, and I think those alternative choices really helped them to be recognized as a marketplace at the time. I was inspired by so many different things, whether it was Japanese animation or Carnival on Eastern Parkway. I’m from the West Indies, so when I go home to Antigua and I see Carnival and the pieces, it inspires me to do things like the costumes I did for Busta Rhyme’s “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.”
Lav it. How about you islandistas?