With UNION Los Angeles holding its seasonal visvim trunk show last weekend, photographer/filmmaker and trunk show attendee, Jake Davis, managed to catch up with UNION’s main man, Chris Gibbs, for a quick chat about the store’s close relationship with the Japanese brand. Basically, a meeting between one of our favourite stores with one of our favourite brands, read on below to see how Gibbs figures it.
You have been synonymous with visvim for almost a decade. How did the relationship start?
Funny story, especially considering the fact that I think I’m visvim’s number one fan. The first time I ever saw visvim was on Eddie Cruz (Undefeated). He was wearing one of the first FBT’s and I thought they were some of the weirdest shoes I had ever seen. At first I guess I just wasn’t ready… Over time they grew on me and as the line grew from a shoe line to a clothing line, I just loved Hiroki’s design sensibility. visvim seemed perfectly suited for our store. Witty, the perfect mix of street, design and technical. Basically, a new take on classics. That was over ten years ago and we are still going strong.
How did the visvim Trunk Show come about?
As the line grew; it’s now quite huge, and with our store being a small boutique, there was just a limit to how much of the line we could order and present. Couple that with the fact that there were certain expensive pieces that we just couldn’t afford to take the risk on. But we had a strong customer base who wanted more. We had enough people asking for stuff that we weren’t bringing into America that we decided to try it out and bring the whole line here for a prebook. From the first one on it was a big success. We did the first two at The Chateau Marmont but we later moved to Martha Otero’s gallery because the Chateau was just too much of a production.
Why do you put the show on every season?
Again, visvim has a huge line and every year they push the limits with some pretty expensive, directional shit. But we have customers who are really into the brand and want “that shit.” A lot of the pieces are essentially custom made to order for the individual. There is no other way to do it. Plus, visvim is one of the few, if not the only brands, that makes full size runs with their samples.
What are some of the key pieces for visvim Spring/Summer 2014?
There is a beautiful pull up leather “veg tan” varsity jacket (pictured on Chris above) that is kind of the shit. I am also a big fan of this bandana pull over shirt. They did a whole vintage part of the line this season that is really dope which includes an immaculate repro of a french workwear moleskin pant and a really cool Amish button down shirt. And one can never go wrong with the Visvim classic FBT, this year’s skirt is quilted.