The collaboration between Union LA and Bephie’s Beauty Supply pays homage to the summer of 1996. Chris Gibbs, the founder of Union LA, describes the summer as a pivotal era where “African American culture crossing over to American pop culture for the first time without having to be watered down.” The collection is a tribute to the significance of the era and represents the deep bond between Gibbs and Beth Birkett, both of whom met in ‘96. In an instagram statement, they emphasized that this collection is a reflection of their love, relationship, and the “precursor of streetwear.”
What adds an extra layer of significance and depth to this collaboration is the fact that Gibbs and Birkett share more than just their passion for streetwear, as they are husband and wife. The sneakers they co-designed are the Air Jordan 1 High OG and the Air Jordan 1 Elevate. The woven elements above the swooshes set these sneakers apart, making them a standout in the world of sneaker collabs.
The campaign features a couple in the off-white sneakers, capturing the essence of the ‘96 summer and the designers’ love for streetwear. Gibbs and Birkett draw inspiration from iconic cultural events of that time, such as the release of The Fugees album, The Score, Larry Clark’s movie, Kids, and the highly anticipated upcoming album Baduizm by Erykah Badu. These references infuse the collection with a profound sense of nostalgia.
The Air Jordan 1 collection by Union LA and Bephie’s Beauty Supply is set to release on August 24th. With both brands boasting dedicated and passionate communities, these sneakers are expected to sell out quickly.