Q&A Chris Gibbs ‘Union Los Angeles’

Chris Gibbs

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever used the word Cat to describe someone…because I’m Welsh, fortyplus and slightly balding. I’m just not the type you know and plus my missus would call me a dick… But fuck it, for the first time in my life I’m gonna call someone not just a Cat, but a Cool Cat… I met this guy years ago when he ran Union in New York, they were one of the first stores in the US to buy ‘Rather Not Say’. However, a few years ago Chris left New York and moved out to sunnier climes and can now be found in Los Angeles. We had a quick chat with Mr Gibbs..

What did you have for breakfast?

I eat the left over scraps of whatever my kids leave on their plates in the morning, not a big breakfast person.

What’s good about your home town?


The Rideau Canal; A river that runs through the city. In the winter the canal freezes over and becomes the world’s biggest skating rink….people use it to skate to work in the winter.

Beaver Tails (fried dough that’s round and flat in the shape of a…beaver’s tail).

Ottawa and Hull are twin cities and they border another province (Quebec). When I was younger Quebec had a lower drinking age and lax laws..throw in easily made fake id’s and you have 16 year old’s “in the club”.

Provide us with the synopsis for your autobiography in 140 characters and what would it be called?

“Dirty White Boy” would be the name of the movie.

A coming of age story. The journey of a mixed up, mixed kid growing up in Canada trying to come to terms with his split personality; half white/half black, loves hip hop and punk music, is a skater and a jock, all in the 80′s when these were all polar opposites. Yearning for something other than the perfect life that Canada could offer him he flees to Louisiana in search of something different. He swiftly realises he is far away from Canada when he is called “Dirty White Boy” and he experiences every negative stereotype the dirty south has to offer. Next he heads north for NYC where he finds himself. Everything he wants is there and he finds a whole community of “a-alikes” in Brooklyn and the downtown scene. He is home and he’s got it all figured out. Or so we thought…He get’s blindsided by a Siddharthian plot twist when he falls in love with his soul mate who out of nowhere decides to move them to Hollywood…

There would have to be a sequel a la some National Lampoons Vacation type shit documenting his west coast life. It’s kind of where Herman Hess’s “Siddhathra” meets Claude Brown’s “Manchild in the Promised Land” with a kind of a Larry Clarks “Kids” feel and appeal to it.

If you could punch any celebrity in the face with absolutely no repercussions who would it be?

Clint Eastwood…fuck it.

You’ve got £300 to spend on one new item of menswear right now. Tell us what you’re gonna be buying?

£300 Pound Sterling so thats like $600 dollars over here…these days that doesn’t get you much and I am a picky mother fucker. I guess it would get me started on a nice Thom Browne suit.

Favourite 3 labels over the last 20 years?

Visvim, is literally half my wardrobe, I have pieces from every season going back 10+ years.

Supreme, they revolutionized streetwear. Entitled the youth generation to dress themselves.

Comme Des Garcons, they are just on some other shit and open up a mother fuckers imagination…you know?

If a film was made of your life, tell us 4 songs that would definitely be included on the soundtrack including 1 for the closing credits?

Too many to name…

Suicidal Tendencies, Institutionalizes – Highschool/Youth Angst/Skater days…

A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders could play for every night scene while I was living in NYC in the 90′s. I was a full blown “backpacker”.

Cocteau Twins, Carolyn’s Fingers would be playing for my first trip Europe, seeing Paris and Italy for first time, blew my mind…I think this was playing on my walkman?

Mighty Travellers, Rocks and Mountains would have to be the closing credits…