Each week, we take some time to highlight one of our favorite brands. After featuring Japanese techwear label Teton Bros, this week we’ve decided to shine a light on store-turned-brand Union LA.
If you’re passionate about streetwear, you’ll surely have heard of Union LA, a streetwear institution. It first opened its doors in New York in 1989 under the ownership of Mary Ann Fusco and James Jebbia (you know, that dude who founded Supreme a while later), before opening an LA location in 1991. Current owner Chris Gibbs bought the LA store in 2008 after managing it for over a decade, and describes it as “the first streetwear store ever.”
Union LA is not your regular high-end streetwear store. In fact, you’ll find things like $30 T-shirts, $1,000 coats, and everything in between. Finding new designers and brands from overseas is Chris Gibbs’ expertise and what the store is renowned for, bridging the gap between the European and U.S. markets. Many independent brands have broke on the back of being discovered by Union LA, which attracts a growing number of dedicated shoppers and tastemakers. We even dropped by the shop a few years ago with LA-based rapper Vince Staples.
Other big turning points for Union LA came in 2017 and 2018. The legendary shop launched its first in-house collection and then followed that up with an additional location in Tokyo, Japan. Starting with a 10-piece collection, Union was able to offer customers a clear vision of what the store represents. We particularly love its latest SS18 collection, which features a line of snapbacks, tees, sweats, jackets and more.
The vintage-inspired collection features insane pieces such as a ’90s HBCU-inspired hoodie (actually inspired by Chris Gibbs’ alma mater Grambling State University) and a long-sleeve with sheep-print details symbolizing some of men’s stereotypically biggest vices (wine, women, weed). With pieces such as these, Union LA the design brand is one to keep an eye on.
Check out our selection below and click the links to shop.
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- Curated By: Nigel Minani