J.Crew x UNION may seem like an unusual collaboration at first, though it makes perfect sense if you look at the relationship between the brands’ creative directors. Chris Gibbs of UNION Los Angeles and Brendon Babenzien, J.Crew’s creative director since 2021, share a long and storied history. The two have known each other for decades and were instrumental in shaping the NYC streetwear scene in the mid-to-late ’90s. In 1996, Babenzian began working at a local skate shop known as Supreme, while at the same time, Gibbs began working for UNION NY. Along with Stüssy, the three brands led the city’s streetwear renaissance, all operating out of one central office in SoHo.
Gibbs and Babenzian have remained close throughout all these years. UNION has collaborated a handful of times with Babenzian’s NOAH brand, and now this J.Crew collaboration serves as an extension of the creative expression between these two longtime friends.
With this latest project, Chris Gibbs and Brendon Babenzian have combined J.Crew’s classic Americana aesthetic with UNION’s SoCal streetwear and counterculture DNA. The result is a selection of classic J.Crew silhouettes that have been playfully updated to bring West Coast relaxation to iconic East Coast style.
Streetwear staples such as tees and crewnecks are printed with a collaborative logo and have been made slightly wider and cropped in height for a more relaxed, oversized fit. J.Crew quintessential alpaca and fleece knits come slightly distressed and off-centered. Out favorite pieces, however, are the Chore Coat and Pant set, constructed from herringbone twill that has been fabricated to the part of denim, a subtle tongue-in-cheek tribute to workwear. A cap is also offered in the same material.
The UNION Los Angeles x J.Crew collection is available starting today, September 29th at 9am PT online on jcrew.com and the UNION website, as well as in-store at J.Crew Bowery and all UNION locations. Check out the product shots and campaign imagery below.