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28 Dec

Matthew Baldwin, Michael Abe Collaborate on Unity Service

Matthew Baldwin and Michael Abe have been friends since childhood. However it took a pandemic before the 2 Los Angeles-based fashion industry insiders decided to start out working together.

And on Thursday, Unity Service, their first collection of upcycled garments, will make its debut.

Baldwin and his wife Emily founded the denim brand Baldwin, which was based in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2009 and built a strong wholesale business in addition to a handful of retail stores across the country.

But that journey got here to an end in 2020 when the corporate’s investor group pulled the plug, and Baldwin, which had been renamed Bldwn, was dissolved. “Your complete chapter closed up,” he said.

Baldwin moved back to his hometown of L.A. and reconnected with Abe, who has his own high-end men’s and ladies’s brand Lost Daze, and a wealthy resume that features Amiri, Greg Lauren, Double RL, Fear of God, Outerknown and other menswear brands based in California.

Unity Service

Courtesy of Unity Service

Together they created Us Studio to work with other brands reminiscent of Hyer Boots, which created the unique cowboy boot and is readying a relaunch next 12 months, to develop product and business strategies.

But while consulting for other corporations paid the bills, Abe and Baldwin saw a chance to take their partnership to the following level — one which centered around sustainability and elevated upcycling.

First up, they opened a pop-up shop in L.A. customizing vintage apparel and quickly discovered a community of like-minded customers. “We found there have been a variety of people enthusiastic about second-hand thrifting, especially the youth,” said Abe. The shop was open for nine months.

Now the duo is taking that have to the following level with Unity Service, a group of clothes for men and ladies. The road will launch with seven categories including jeans, pants, shorts, chambray and Hawaiian shirts, and jackets.

The pieces are obtained from a network of second-hand recyclers who specialise in “vintage Americana,” as Baldwin described it. The items are washed with essential oils and refreshed and a special design element reminiscent of a satin waistband is added to modernize the looks.

The gathering will retail for $240 for shirts, $300 for pants and around $400 to $500 for outerwear.

“Our goal isn’t to be a gallery brand, but to sit down within the contemporary, post-streetwear space,” Abe said.

The gathering shall be wholesaled to men’s and ladies’s specialty stores and the designers are also hoping to snag a department store or two that sees the worth in these one-off pieces.

Ultimately they would really like to be considered one in all the first resources for upcycled garments selling at a reasonable price, they said. That might set Unity Service other than other brands reminiscent of Greg Lauren or Bode, whose collections sit within the designer price point range.

“That is for the guy who goes to the beach in Malibu and desires to be comfortable, not avant-garde,” Abe said.

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