The portrait has been produced by mb! Magazine and Freunde von Freunden and is the first installment of this collaboration.

For more about Chris and his life, family and career, including more photos, go to Freunde von Freunden.

Los Angeles based Chris Gibbs is the owner of iconic streetwear boutique Union. Offering readers a personal insight into his city, we find out about Chris’ heritage, life as a young father and his search for a classic car in tune with his personal style in this interview portrait as part of our collaboration with online magazine Freunde von Freunden. Born in Canada and of Caribbean background, Chris’s love of travel and culture was kindled while living and working in New York as a buyer for Union NYC. It is here that he witnessed the rise in popularity of streetwear clothing as a genre, which ignited his passion for clothing. This experience ultimately led him to establishing a career in the fashion industry and starting a family in Los Angeles. Located in the shopping strip of La Brea, Hollywood, Union is renowned for offering customers “luxury-streetwear”. Chris sources a range of streetwear items from around the world, making several trips to Japan every year. When looking to purchase a car, Chris envisioned a classic vehicle to go with his personal aesthetic. Now the proud owner of a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 250 C, Chris takes us on a tour of LA, highlighting his favorite places to eat, shop, relax and drive.

Why did you choose Cheviot Hills to live with your family?
It’s all about “the youth”. We were living on the Eastside for a while but we just wanted some more space for the kids, and of course there are issues like school districts and such. In the end we really liked Cheviot Hills because it’s kind of like a mini suburb – tons of space for the kids and an all round safe neighborhood – while at the same time still being in the city. I am not sure if I could ever be the suburban Dad.

Where do you, your wife, and the kids like to go on the weekends?
Our weekends are like another job for us. We usually wake up early and rush the kids to basketball, football, soccer, art classes or acting classes. If we are lucky there is only one play date or birthday party to go to after that. On occasion, we will drive up to Mammoth for a weekend and go skiing with our close family friends. Good times had by all! Otherwise, what’s really great about LA is the weather; we go to the beach or this secret park we meet our friends at all year round. We are still young parents, so we force the kids to go to art openings with us quite a bit too. But really we spend most of our time at the house, just chilling.

Do you guys go to the ocean a lot?
We usually like to drive up the coast to Malibu for a day trip, and if we have time to stay overnight we will drive down the coast to La Jolla. That said, I am a bit of a hater – my Dad is from Barbados and I was spoiled with Caribbean beaches my whole life. There is unfortunately no comparison.

Tell me a bit about your Mercedes.
We recently turned our leases in, and my wife and I got a new car, but I was not into it. I don’t really like the new cars that are out there. I don’t really like them aesthetically on the whole. So I figured I would get a classic car, closer to my personal style. We started looking on eBay. I knew I really liked the lines from the ’60s and ’70s. It took me about a week to finally pinpoint the one I wanted: a 2-door, because the 4-doors were too big. I wanted a coupe, and I really liked this blue, so I started started looking for that specific blue. It was really all about the blue! I was cruising on eBay, and I found my car, a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 250 C, 2-door coupe in the exact blue I wanted. And then there are certain details that vary depending on the year a car was built. I wanted minimalist bumpers, and I wanted the grill to be smaller. Vehicles from the ’60s have really big grills, and in the ’70s the bumpers get bulky, but in the early ’70s both the grill and bumper are smaller, which is really what I wanted.

If I were to open your trunk, what would I find?
Funny you should ask. Working in fashion I am always getting free stuff: clothes, shoes and gifts from brands. My wife doesn’t feel like I need anymore clothing than I already have and I try not to clutter up my office, so the trunk of the car ends up being where I keep the goodies until I can slowly and carefully matriculate them into my wardrobe.

Where should I go in LA? What’s a great hang-out place? 

A good friend of ours found this dive of a bar in South Central that does karaoke, called the Living Room, and it’s on Crenshaw and Adams. It is just the dopest cross-section of people that end up going there. It is an OG (ed.: Original Gangster) kind of dive bar right on the border of South Central and Hollywood. This guy that I know is an artist had his studio near there, and he started going there and his friends followed. It is a hang out for some really dope up-and-coming artists such as Noah Davis, Kahlil Joseph and Daniel DeSure. Locals are there for the karaoke and just to have fun; it’s not pretentious at all. It has a great atmosphere, great jukebox and cheap drinks. It really comes alive on Karaoke nights, when you could have a 60-year old gospel singer doing his own version of R Kelly, right after someone else sings Slayer.

What’s your favorite song to sing Karaoke?
I do Jimi Hendrix. Manic Depression, that’s my go-to.

Is there a street you enjoy driving on?
I would say Sunset Drive. When I first moved to LA it was the easiest – though not necessarily the most efficient – way to get around for me, so I used it quite often until I got the hang of the city. If you take it from East to West you will get a taste of everything LA has to offer, from Echo Park and it’s Chicano roots, through Hollywood and the theater and club district. Keep going West and you will go through Beverly Hills; further West still and you get the uber posh Brentwood. While driving along Sunset Drive you definitely get a balanced perspective of the entire city.

What music do you currently listen to when driving?
I have very eclectic but also very specific tastes. I like all genres of music but not every band within a given genre. I am very picky. Right now I am addicted to anything chopped and screwed. I also love listening to “steppers” reggae and I am listening to a sick Theo Parrish disco mix quite regularly at the moment.

Where is a good place to get some tacos?
Guisados is my taco spot. It is just the best. What more can I say!

What do you recommend?
EVERYTHING! But they do a sample plate of, I think, five mini tacos that is a great start.

Your tip for the best pizza in town?
I’m hesitant to answer this question because I have a spot I love that no one else I know respects. Patsy Damore’s in the farmers market. I actually love their pizza. That said, for some gourmet pizzas Gjelina always pleases, but they offer far more than just pizza. They have hands down my favorite menu in LA and the food always tastes fantastic!

Where do you get your regular caffeine fix?
I am not really a coffee snob, that said, I have traveled the world and had the good fortune of having some great coffee so although while I can’t tell you the difference between single source or Arabica, I do appreciate a good cup. So, when I find a good spot I stay pretty loyal. LA has a pretty good amount of good coffee spots. Paper or Plastik is on my route to work, so I usually hit them up in the AM. They actually have great food too so it’s a good spot to have a meeting as well, or get a quick snack.

What type of books do you usually read or buy?
I like it all. I’m not really into one particular genre. I usually visit Arcana to get inspired by books on photography, architecture and contemporary art. That’s what makes Arcana so good, they have a huge range of old and new titles and special editions, it is a really great spot to visit and spend some time.

Thank you, Chris!

Check out Chris’ favorite locations and the car in the photos above.

The portrait has been produced by mb! Magazine and Freunde von Freunden and is the first installment of this collaboration.

For more about Chris and his life, family and career, including more photos, go to Freunde von Freunden.