When GQ caught up with J.Crew menswear designer Brendon Babenzien recently to discuss the brand’s 40th anniversary, he apparently had a secret: the just-launched collaboration with West Coast streetwear mecca Union, run by Babenzien’s longtime friend Chris Gibbs. Consider it an anniversary present—to us. The J.Crew x Union collection runs the former’s country-prep staples through the latter’s hyper-specific vision of SoCal fashion. What comes out the other side is a lo-fi twist on J.Crew’s soft-wash DNA.
And not to bury the lede here, but yes, you’re gonna want everything. Two matching sets—one in a herringbone twill “denim” (air quotes theirs), the other in a patchwork tan plaid, both sold as separates—answer the question: What if I want a suit I can lounge in? A lush, seemingly moth-eaten sweater is the realest manifestation of stealth wealth. Boxed-n-chopped tees wear Union’s logo on the back, with J.Crew’s hidden inside. But the collection’s statement piece is the checkerboard knit crewneck, with its blown-up salmon-and-olive pattern smashing two of prep’s hallmark colors into cozy cool.
Act fast: The full J.Crew x Union collection is available now, and probably won’t last long. We’ve linked you to our favorite picks down below via J.Crew, but the collaboration’s also available at Union’s site, as well as J.Crew’s NYC Bowery store and Union’s stores in LA, Tokyo, and Osaka.
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