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June Ambrose talks Puma’s groundbreaking women’s basketball collection

courtesy of PUMA

PUMA is doubling down on women’s hoops, dropping High Court, a basketball-inspired collection designed by fashion legend June Ambrose.

Joining PUMA in 2020, Ambrose has been critical in launching and expanding the brand’s Women’s Hoops category. Her debut High Court collection features a range of pieces, including apparel, accessories and footwear ranging from $30-$375 in price.

“I developed this collection during COVID when the United States was on lockdown,” Ambrose tells Just Women’s Sports. “In terms of origin and references, I really had to tap into my authentic intelligence to forecast designs.”

Seeing High Court come to life has been especially rewarding for Ambrose, who had to endure the trials and tribulations of creating amid the global pandemic. Unable to touch and feel samples or draw visual inspiration from visiting different spaces, Ambrose was forced to reimagine her creative process.

“Taking the concept to reality was a labor of love through the pandemic, all of our design meetings and fittings were done virtually so to finally be in a place where women and women of the WNBA are wearing the collection, it’s beautiful!”

Breanna Stewart (courtesy of PUMA)

The High Court campaign, shot by Ambrose’s long-term creative partner Hype Williams, features WNBA stars Skylar Diggins-Smith, Breanna Stewart, Katie Lou Samuelson and Jackie Young.

Stewart made headlines in May when the former league MVP signed a long-term deal with PUMA, becoming the first WNBA player in a decade to develop her own signature shoe.

“With PUMA launching their women’s basketball division it shows the brand’s commitment to women in sport,” said Ambrose. “The High Court Collection and Breanna getting her signature shoe is the start of a new chapter for PUMA, it’s a really monumental time for the brand. I want to continue to create a lifestyle around women’s basketball, it’s as much about who she is on the court as who she is off the court and this collection speaks to that.”

Skylar Diggins-Smith (courtesy of PUMA)

Ambrose’s vision not only includes current basketball icons, but also draws inspiration from the broader push for equity in sports, including Title IX.

“The collection was inspired by the fearless and bold energy that women and youth channeled in order to get this civil rights law passed,” reveals Ambrose, “I want to leverage the collection and the launch of the women’s basketball division to continue to draw attention to conversation around equality in sport.”

It wasn’t just athletes Ambrose had in mind when she was creating the collection — empowering women across industries and circumstances was also important for the designer.

“I built the collection around the philosophy that Life is a sport,” said Ambrose, “that as women we hold court in so many positions in the game of life, we need a wardrobe that works for all of them.”

June Ambrose (courtesy of PUMA)

Ambrose’s favorite piece? That would be the Retro 90s rugby set. The piece is inspired by one of Ambrose’s favorite silhouettes growing up, and she likened the rugby to a classic white button-down, but with a retro 90s vibe and bold color.

The High Court collection will be available starting Dec. 1 on, PUMA NYC Flagship store and select Nordstrom locations.