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Jeff Staple: 10 Items That Defined His Streetwear Career

That day, February 2, 2005, was just a historic day for me, but I also think it was a game-changer for sneaker culture in general. Before that, sneakers, sneakerheads and sneaker collectors were like a subculture. It was a niche. It was like a few hundred people in downtown New York who were obsessed with shoes, queuing, camping, reselling – not on any eBay, GOAT, StockX platform, but reselling to your homie . You would line up, cop one, then you would make $10 selling it to your friend. It was resale. So it was really a subculture at the time. And then it was after this headline from the New York Post that everyone understood what was going on in this subculture. If you’ve heard the phrase “jump on the bandwagon,” I think it was the creation of the bandwagon that everyone then jumped on. It was quite a special moment.

I’ve done so many “Pigeon” projects. It was my goal. It was one of my intentions. When I grew up, I was really a big fan of graffiti artists. There’s a term called “go all over town”, which means you can get your tag in each borough of the five boroughs or you do it on the side of a subway train so everyone in the five boroughs can see your label as you go. across all metro systems. I dabbled in graffiti, but I didn’t have the balls to hang on the side of a train and do graffiti. I didn’t want to be arrested either. But this idea of ​​creating a mark, or a mark like a tag, and then being able to put that “tag” on all these different surfaces like a watch or a camera, it was for me like the spirit of graffiti to go everywhere in town. So it was a very intentional thing to create a brand and also create a colorway. Owning a colorway is nearly impossible. There is Tiffany blue, Coke red. There are not so many brands that when you see this color combination, you see this brand. But this pigeon gray with the pigeon pink of the feet and the white pop, it started with the “Pigeon” Dunk. And then we applied it to so many different things.

It was the mentality of a graffiti artist, me just trying to bomb the system. I think over the last quarter century I’ve done a pretty good job bombarding a lot of systems. Even among the greatest shoe designers of all time and greatest collaborators, I can’t really think of anyone who has been able to put their mark on so many different surfaces, brands and products. I sometimes hear people say, “Yo, you’re so boring. You keep doing the same thing over again. It’s like, “Yeah, that’s my intention.” It’s like the Futura label or the Obey Andre the Giant sticker. The goal is to put as many different stickers as possible. The fact is that everywhere you go in the world you see the same sticker, the same tag, the same pigeon, the same color.

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