Did Voguing’s Hottest Couple AyaBambi Break Up?

The edgy Japanese duo, whose fans include Madonna and Alexander Wang, appear to have split personally and professionally.

Dancing duo AyaBambi have been praised for their eccentric choreography, synced movements, and carefully coordinated costuming. The duo fuse ballroom voguing with traditional geisha movements and an industrial goth vibe, creating a unique performance aesthetic.



AyaBambi appeared in an a 2015 Alexander Wang campaign and Madonna’s 2016 video for “Bitch I’m Madonna.” They even inspired Vogue magazine’s celebration of marriage equality.

At one point Aya Sato and Bambi Noko, who have been together for more than three years, were reportedly engaged. But have they broken up—professionally and romantically?

Fans noticed that Aya and Bambi haven’t posted anything together on Instagram in several months, nor referenced each other on social media since their ad with skincare brand Shiseido back in April.

Shortly after, Aya tweeted somewhat cryptically, “Gimme back my 4years !! Is that stupid or what.”

They’ve updated followers on their solo endeavors—both are models and teach dance workshops across the world—but their joint Twitter and Instagram accounts have been deactivated.

The apparent dissolution of AyaBambi is especially sad for Japanese fans, who have few out LGBT role models. The couple was a rare phenomenon in the otherwise traditional country, and their engagement allowed the duo to speak out about marriage equality.


“Japan is supposed to be an advanced country,” Aya told i-D in 2016, “but it is still conservative in many ways due to tradition. Things like this change very slowly in Japan… I am what I am, and so is [Bambi].”

Asked in January about wedding plans, the women insisted they hadn’t decided anything yet. In the same interview, they said their goals for 2017 were “the same as always—we keep evolving at our own pace and will continue to create our favorite world with our favorite people. We will continue to show people what our passions are.”

Sadly, it looks like they will be doing that individually.

Aya, who did choreography for Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, recently shot a fashion editorial for i-D, and spoke about creating her own sense of style. She also appeared at Paris Fashion Week and Tokyo’s Life Ball—sans Bambi.

Bambi, meanwhile, bleached her hair blonde and posed for a marketing campaign for her new Japanese streetwear brand, Inside Out.

At least we’ll always have these videos.




Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer.