- “The Collaboration between Jordan and the Los Angeles streetwear stalwart Union was unapologetic”
Following the #BlackLivesMatter protest after an uproar surrounding police brutality, Numerous retail businesses were looted and vandalized. Union’s Chris Gibbs grew conscious of the effects on his neighborhood.
“[My wife and I] were like, ‘we see businesses struggling in our backyard, in our block, in our neighborhood,”Gibbs said.
“There’s not a singular focus on nonprofit organizations fighting for our rights, there’s also mom and pop stores and small businesses that have been pivotal to the growth of the community that [should] stick around during COVID.”
Resulting in the collaboration with Jordan, Gibbs and Union teamed up with 5 Black-owned L.A brands to share profits and support in the “Spread Love” campaign. Committed towards community-building was the motive driving Gibbs since the beginning, as the store has a record of supporting social justice movements over the years. One including the South L.A. activation Manifest:Justice and the New Georgia Project.
“Gibbs has prioritized unapologetic Blackness through streetwear and vertical support of Black-owned businesses ever since breaking ground on South La Brea Avenue in 2004”
“Community has always been the core of what we do, even in the New York days. Since the beginning of Union, it started as this place almost 30 years ago of a very small boutique and has [since] become globally known,”
“To a certain degree in that evolution, we might have lost our way a little bit in making sure we were thinking locally. With the Jordan launch, we wanted to refocus our energy on not just repping for the community, but giving back.”he concluded
Streetwear, initially birthed by the Urban audiences and Los Angeles skaters in the 80’s, has gained so much traction, eventually emerging into a culture – notably through lines Supreme and Stüssy. A viral trend through decades with clear influences on both commercial and high fashion, the originator of brands like Off-White and Fear of God. Union L.A. been tagged the city’s “best kept secret,” has converged high-end designer names with underground streetwear culture. As the founder of Union L.A., Gibbs has seamlessly influenced the world of streetwear, arguably as a forebear of the scene itself. Still, he’s aware that a number of streetwear brands aren’t owned by those ‘in the culture,’ so to speak.