Owner of LA's Streetwear Hotspot UNION Is Launching Low Cost, Top-of-the-Line Clothing Line

by Kara Powell

Mark your closet’s calendar (but obviously not with permanent marker) for November 16, 2017. That’s when Chris Gibbs, owner of  LA’s staple streetwear store UNION and revered fun-ctional fashion trendspotter, is set to launch his one-of-a-kind clothing line.

15 years after co-owners Mary Ann Fusco and James Jebbia reaped commercial success from UNION’s first location in NYC, LA's urban fashionistas and fashionistos took to the South La Brea location like water, and have been fishing out traffic-stopping pieces since Gibbs came to own the store in 2004. Advocating a high risk, high reward model, Gibbs’ eye is relied upon to buy “chill out relaxing clothes” by investing in designers deemed dope enough, regardless of their exposure level.

Select mens jackets, pants, and cash “street suits” from the line have been dyed in vivid shades of cerulean blue and salmon and are easily recognized by their clean, androgynous cut. The sleek shape is inspired by bare essentials in Gibbs’ closet, outputting an easy-to-throw-on formula. The equation for success is replicated in lightly-faded jean jackets with simple matte black buttons and pure opaque hoodies; paramount staples for none other than hip-hop artist Vince Staples and actorvist Jesse Williams, who were spotted rocking Gibbs' threads at the line’s launch party on Monday night.

So what’s the secret to getting superstars to proudly don what may be perceived to some as a simple hoodie and jeans? Japanese fabric. Is. The. Best. Period. Said Gibbs to GQ in a recent Q&A, the industry of street chic is “a little bit tough.” Thus, the fabric should be made even tougher. As consistent sales of Hiroki Nakamura’s Visvim line at UNION have proven, Japan is able to supply the hot demand for quality. Unlike many Japanese designers, however, Gibbs ensures us that the modern baller-on-a-budget will be able to come correct for less than superstar prices.

Written by Kara Powell