Nordstrom teams up with l.a. retailer union on next ‘concepts’ project

by Stephen Garner

Last night, Nordstrom and Union hosted a block party at Hester Street Market on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to celebrate the launch of Concept 005: Union & Company.

The party served as a reunion of sorts for Chris Gibbs, co-owner of Union, bringing the L.A. boutique back to NYC after closing the original store a decade ago. Guests had the chance to enjoy a Miss Lily’s pop-up Jerk Shack, exclusive T-shirt customizations and sounds by Stretch and Bobbito, No Vacancy Inn and Hank Korsan.

The event brought together more than 500 customers, friends of the brands, and notable attendees, including Brian Donnelly a.k.a. KAWS, Julie Chiang, Shelia Bridges, Corey Stokes, Rhuigi, Joel ‘40oz. VAN’ Fuller, Brendan Babenzien, Angelo Baque, Shaniqwa Jarvis, Sofia Malamute, Alastair McKimm, Will Welch, Jeff Carvalho, and Ro James.

Concept 005: Union & Company is Nordstrom’s VP of men’s fashion Sam Lobban’s fifth project for New Concepts @Nordstrom Men, following previous concepts with Dior, Japanese printing house printings.jp and Patagonia. The ongoing series of digital and physical pop-up shops invites customers to discover the newest menswear products in partnership with the world’s most compelling brands.

This is the first time the legendary Los Angeles-based streetwear shop has collaborated with a national retailer. Concept 005: Union & Company features over 170 exclusive pieces across clothing, accessories, and shoes from a roster of 13 brands curated by Lobban and Gibbs. The pop-up shops are available now through September 1 at select Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com/NewConcepts.

The shops feature exclusive capsule collections, ranging in price from $42 to $1,295, from brands including Union, Awake NY, BornxRaised, Cactus Plant Flea Market, Camp High, Fear of God, Jordan Brand, Marni, Neighborhood x Converse, No Vacancy Inn, Our Legends, Reigning Champ and Rhude. The in-store installations are inspired by Union’s Tokyo location and incorporate design elements like Sheila Bridges’ iconic Harlem toile wallpaper—which makes an appearance in Union’s collection.

“Union is a brand that stands for something,” said Lobban. “This collaboration is an authentic way to tell the story of what’s happening in the streetwear and contemporary designer space right now. Everyone’s talking about streetwear’s influence on men’s fashion, and Union is the ultimate authority on that. We’re really excited to introduce the world of Union to our Nordstrom customers.”

Concept 005: Union & Company Campaign

“We’re bringing to Nordstrom an honest and earnest version of what Union is,” added Gibbs. “Streetwear has been an incubator for new ideas, and I take pride in Union being the store where we’ll go to the lengths of the earth to find the next new brand. Sam and I have built a democratic offering of our favorite brands from affordable T-shirts and sweatshirts, representing our streetwear roots, to directional high fashion and everything in between.”

All the Concept 005: Union & Company brands are featured in a campaign shot by photographer Micaiah Carter and styled by Beth Gibbs, co-owner of Union Los Angeles, at the historic Roxie Theatre in Los Angeles. The campaign comes to life on social media, Nordstrom.com and a billboard in SoHo in New York City.

The exclusive collection is available at Nordstrom.com/NewConcepts, Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles and Nordstrom Pacific Centre in Vancouver, B.C. and for the first time at four new stores including: Nordstrom Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Nordstrom NorthPark Center in Dallas, Nordstrom Aventura Mall in Miami and Nordstrom Southcoast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California.

See images from last night’s block party below.

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