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Jeff Staple reveals the backstory behind his favorite collaborations.

Written by buzzonlineadmin

Jeff Staple’s work as a collaborator is legendary.
His collaborations with Nike, New Balance, and Puma are well-known. His efforts with other companies, such as Crocs or Cole Haan, also won him fans.

The 25-year-old founder of Staple has revealed his top collaborations to F.N.
Adidas always said, “We would love to work with you, but the enormous shadow of your Nike collaborations makes it difficult. Adi said, “This is amazing because we would love for you to work with us, but now it’s under E.B.,” The Adi team said. We did a film together [‘Never Too Late’] for the Nite Joggers, and then we did the Cricket series. It was Bernie Gross and me. Bernie was the art director. I was the creative director.

Allbirds

“First and only brand to do an Allbirds [shoe]. Do you know what I mean? I love making lefts even though everyone else is making right. You do things outside the norm and push the boundaries of what this culture can be. I found their work so inspiring and unforgettable on an environmental and business
level that it was hard to believe they didn’t get the love they deserve in my world, the world of

sneakerheads.

Clarks Originals
“Clarks was certainly a dope one. To be able to do three shoes — the Wallabee [Twist] and the Tawyer Helix — was a feat. I spent a lot time at their original headquarters in Northern England. It is a Wallabee classic from childhood and a classic in hip-hop. Being able to do something together was
incredible.

Crocs

“I love the Crocs story because five years ago, you couldn’t be found outside without a pair of Crocs. It has been incredible to see the company’s transformation. It’s amazing to be able to add my 2 cents to that story of Crocs becoming a legitimate sneaker player. We did a great job. The largest Jibbitz in history — Guinness Book of World Records is currently talking to me about the possibility of having the largest Crocs Jibbitz. That was Saleh Bembury’s idea. Saleh said, “You should contact Guinness about it,” I replied, “Of course.” We are now in talks.

“I was born in New Jersey and went to public school in Jersey. You can find a place where you grew up within an hour from New York City. There was a year in 1991 when every cool kid in high school owned a pair Ewings — the mustard Ewings or the [New York] Knicks color Ewings. This was an iconic shoe, and it was his shoe. This is a man who owned his own sneaker brand back in the ’90s. It’s quite amazing. I still vividly recall those high school days when I was super jealous of the Ewings kids. In high school, I didn’t have a pair, but Ewing helped me build my brand. Let’s get together now. This was also our first collaboration that included infant and child sizes. “I wanted to have the whole family.

“We made the Jordan Step’n Out Jacket. It was a varsity jacket inspired by the [Air Jordan] 11. Recently, I shared on Instagram an anecdote about my biggest career mistake. Jordan asked me to collaborate on a [sneaker] project. I said yes. They said to me, “We want your work on this new shoe called the Jordan Nu Retro Low.” I was like, “Not the 1?” The 3? The 3? It could have been a mistake, but that could have been my entry into a long series. This shoe could have been my entry into the Jordan world and the runway to the future. Later, the jacket was made. Reham Habib (former Jordan and Nike executive) is a hero. It’s not common for people to realize that collaboration with a brand does not mean you are working with the entire company. You are only collaborating with five people who like what your work does. What will you do if those five people quit and the five new employees don’t like your work? Collaborations are not something you do. Reham loved Staple and what she did and was responsible for Jordan’s apparel. She was all, “Let’s make something.” It was an easy way to say, “Look, here’s the olive tree.” It didn’t work out then, but we’ll get there one day.
Nike

We could go on and forth about Nike. Still, I don’t think we couldn’t put the Pigeon series — the O.G.? Pigeon’ Dunk, the ? Black Pigeon’ the & _Panda Pigeon’ and even the infamous ‘Purple Pigeons,’ which isn’t an official Jeff-designed shoe, but benefited from a halo of the †††ho of the apron mythology. The community created the “Purple Pigeons.” It was an inline S.B. model with purple and gray, so the streets called it the “Purple Pigeons.” They are available for purchase on eBay in 25-packs. You can buy them on eBay in 25 packs. It’s a beautiful model, numerically, because of the street mythology calling it the “Purple Pigeon.” It’s beautiful!
New Balance

“New Balance, they have an incredible history — the O.G. grey New Balance, the White Pigeon [575] is a gorgeous shoe, and the Black Pigeon [577] was done in collaboration with Size?” The U.K., and the most recent New Balance X-Racer. We did this in collaboration with Size in Japan.
Puma

“I have done at least 20 things with Puma. It was footwear, apparel, and the Interval line. Puma and I have had an excellent collaboration history. We have a lot more stuff in the future. The Blaze of Glory would be my favorite sneaker if I had to choose because it is so iconic. That silhouette is my favorite. The Suede and Clyde are my favorites, but I have enjoyed them more lately. The Clydes look so fresh and modern on me; I’ve seen many New York heads wearing them this summer. The Blaze of Glory is my sneakerhead child.

“We are releasing three Reeboks. My favorite is the [Instapump] Fury, which has feathers. We haven’t collaborated with Reebok in 25 years. I was a Reebok consultant in those days. I did a lot of Allen Iverson books, printed materials, and photo shoots. Gary Land, Iverson’s photographer, is an excellent example of this. Back in those days, we did a lot of stuff with Reebok. It took 25 years to put a Reebok pigeon on it finally. There is also a Club C, and then there’s a secondary edition for friends and family of the Pump Fury. It’s stunning. It is black and white with its vector logo across the entire shoe and the pigeon at the back.

RTFKT

“[RTFKT]is a Web3 project and a NFT metaverse Project that was wholly acquired in December 2021 by Nike, so it’s the newest division at Nike. We are honored to have worked with them and will continue to collaborate. An NFT was done, followed by a digital sneaker. Then we made a physical sneaker which you can purchase if you have the digital sneaker. It’s amazing that this happened in the 25th anniversary Staple. You have to remember that when I founded Staple in 1997, there wasn’t an email account. This was pre-internet when I founded this brand. Personally, and as a selfish tip, I find it amazing that I have grown a brand from preinternet to e-commerce, social media, and now to the metaverse. And to do incredible s**t here in this new frontier, which, in my view, is representative for the next quarter century of how we will experience things, is truly awesome.”
Timberland

“We did more than just produce amazing Timberland products, from the Wheat [6-Inch] Boot to Field Boot to our ‘Polar Night’ collection. We also did many behind-the-scenes projects. They’ll be called consulting projects. Unknown fact: I linked [Timberland executive] Andy Friedman and [Supreme founder] James Jebbia. It was probably around 2007. I don’t remember the year. Also, the Wu-Tang/Rza Timberland 6-Inch Boot was my responsibility; it was also mine. Supreme was a connection I made, but Rza is a designer, and I designed the Supreme boot with him. The Timberland brand is a source of great love.

Their design lab was a place they used to call 15R down on the Lower East Side. Andy Friedman and I created that space. Not to mention Construct.10061, their latest innovation launched in 2019. It was my first two years as the storyteller, the voice, and the moderator. They sent artists and artisans to the Dominican Republic to collaborate with the old-school artisans to create innovative products in the D.R.

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