As you know 4/20 marked the 2 year anniversary for Union Tokyo. Given our current state of living, we had to call for an audible and celebrate using the benefits of modern day technology, the infamous information superhighway aka the internet. As intended from the jump, we kept everything in the family, from our tee collaboration with the Tokyo staffs go to coffee joint, Hotel Drugs, to getting DJ sets from friends like Tiffany Cadillac, Meegan Elyse, DJ Nori, and Wacko Maria (KILLER TUNES BROADCAST). In addition, we’re stoked to have our good friends Hassan Rahim and Emile Haynie be apart of the mix. Hassan, an LA Native, comes with an arsenal of talent to say the least. Art director, artist, and extremely talented graphic designer, the mans visuals are on a whole other level. As for Emile, representing NYC, he started things off chopping up hip-hop beats and now is a well respected Grammy award winning producer. Either songwriting or producing, he’s helped cook up an array of hits for big time names in the game. Special thanks to everyone who participated in helping make this celebration come to life. Lastly, our second half of the post comes with a good ol’ Union Tokyo interview with Gibbs touching base on current state of fashion, his favorite artists, and a message to the streets of Tokyo. Peace y’all and enjoy!
PART 1 –
UNION TOKYO 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
PART 2 –
UNION TOKYO INTERVIEW
Tell us how you feel now having your store open for 2 years in Tokyo.
I have been doing business in Tokyo for almost 20 years now. My first trip was as a DJ/Desinger where I got to visit Osaka and Tokyo. That trip blew my mind wide open and I immediately fell in love with Japan. Quite frankly, seeing the scene in Tokyo, shaped how I curated my store. For work I have been coming to Japan 2-3 times a year since then.
I am spoiled too, because coincendlty, 2 of my best friends are Japanese and live in Tokyo. I met them in NYC when we were both in University. So not only do I visit for work, I usually spend most of my time with them and I have been honored enough through them to live like a local. I go to Onsen in Hakone every time I am there, I visit Shimoda in the summer, Niseko in the winter and Kyoto every once in a while.
So when the opportunity came to open a Union in Tokyo, it was like a dream come true!!
Do you think fashion has changed in the past 2 years? If so, how?
Fashion is always changing, that is a part of what it is. So yes it has changed. I think for the most part streetwear has become a household name like no other time. Streetwear brands are now the most popular brands. That is both good and bad. The popularity of streetwear is great for us because that is who we are, but as with anything popular, it runs the risk of getting oversaturated. We have a very strict focus to make sure that only the right brands, styles, and collections are represented at the store so our shit never gets stale or over saturated.
What are your current favorite brands?
Union of coarse. I mostly wear my own shit, to be honest. I also love Jil Sander, I have been wearing a lot of that these days. I have been a Dickies guys since I was in middle school and still love the brand. I have been wearing and supporting Unused for a long time and really love what they do. Wtaps and NBHD are always killing it!!!
Current favorite artists?
Kerry James Marshal is my all-time favorite artist. Arthur Jafa (who’s photo’s we have in our store) is another. Noah Davis was a great friend of mine and incredible artist as well.
Message to the streets of Tokyo.
Peace Tokyo. Love you guys, love your city, one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!!! I feel at home when I am there; the smells, the energy, the people, the fashion, the food, the culture…I love it all!! I know we are all going through tough times right now, but we will get through this and be even stronger. Thanks for all your support!
– Chris Gibbs
Dickies Carpenter Pants
Bephie Face Mask
Vintage USSR Military Rain Smock
Dickies Carpenter Pants
Dunlop Rain Boots
Jacques Marie Mage