Award-winning designer Matt Baldwin is back with a new collection.
Well, sort of new.
Baldwin, the founder of the now defunct BLDWN denim line that shut down during the height of the pandemic, has just released the first drop of Unity Service. The collection is an assortment of men’s and women’s upcycled garments he created with Michael Abe, his business partner in Us Studio, a Los Angeles-based fashion-design studio and think tank they opened in 2020.
A revolving edit of various secondhand, reworked styles comprise the collection, which Baldwin said will be produced in “an ongoing three-month cycle.” Orders will be closed each month and “the entire pick, wash, reconstruction and finish is done in about 12 weeks” so that stores will have a refreshment for each of the four seasons, he said.
“In an ideal world we will launch with a mix of the top contemporary specialty stores and a few department stores that understand the vision and possibilities of resurrecting secondhand clothes into upcycle with new intention,” he added.
About 20 to 30 styles will be offered each season with the reinterpreted themes of Coast, Prep, Military and Workwear.
The first Coast pieces include reworked denim jeans and jackets and aloha print shirts. The Workwear is flannel shirts and paint-splattered carpenter pants. Poplin and chambray oxford shirts and chinos and khakis comprise Prep and while Military includes forest and desert camo cargos and shorts.
There are also deck shoes, vintage tees with graphics of rock bands, sports teams and tourist destinations, black overdyed pants and an overdyed kimono in a shirting fabric.
Sizes run from XS to XL and retail prices will be $90 for shoes to $450 for jackets.
Other fabrics used for the reconstructed pieces include satin cupro, cotton fleece and deadstock trim.
“Our purpose is found in our conscious design practices bringing comfort, style and elevation to our community and our planet,” is the brand’s stated mission.
Baldwin has a storied career in fashion. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in L.A., he worked for various brands before moving back to his native Kansas City, Kan. to open Standard Style, a multi-brand men’s and women’s fashion store, with his wife Emily.
He started Baldwin (later rebranded to BLDWN) in 2009 which evolved from a pure-play denim brand to a full men’s and women’s lifestyle collection with a seven-store chain across the country. He was named one of the best new designers in America by GQ magazine in 2013 and was a 2015 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.
Both BLDWN and Standard Style shuttered in March 2020 after investors opted to pull the plug.