UNION has always been for the culture, and founder Chris Gibbs is showing some extra love to the West Coast right now.
The brand’s long-awaited Jordan Collection is poised to release this weekend, but other than some tangibles and a microsite, UNION decided to tell a story through anime. Hilariously it plays with the dichotomy of being an adult and stuck loving the things you yearned for as a kid–sneakers included.
“Our boy Diz just can’t seem to figure it out. He has a job interview on the same day that the Union Jordan IV’s release. Through a comedy of error’s he is on the brink of failing this job interview, when an interesting proposition is presented…a potential trade? Let’s see where his priorities are at?” reads the YouTube description.
But more significant than that, with all that’s going on in the world, Gibbs splices in more important lessons. As a Black business owner, Gibbs also used the anime to highlight “some important issues of today; namely, civil rights, criminal justice reform, and systemic racism.”
The video includes many nods to California with illustrations of Crenshaw and even its name. Today Was A Good Day pays homage to Ice Cube‘s 1992 hit of the same name, and Hustle & Motivate borrows the phrase from Crenshaw legend Nipsey Hussle.
The world of anime is so connected through the Black culture that the look book even features models rocking the Jordan collab but with pink, purple and green skin with cartoonized names to match.
Gibbs decided to hook up with Reggieknow’s It Was a Good Day anime series to create the masterpiece. But anime fans can be nitpicky, so they connected with D’ART Shtajio, Tokyo’s first Black-owned animation studio founded by brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom to turn it up a notch.
“Reggie and Chris are creating something new,” Arthell Isom told HS. “It wasn’t always cool for Black culture to really like anime, but now it’s become something basketball players and prominent Black actors like.”
Peep the entire anime-inspired lookbook below.