By | March 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews

Jeff Staple Interview by Ceelo

The ILLSOCIETY team had the privilege and honor of sitting down with Mr. Pigeon Dunk himself Jeff Staple while out in Vegas for the Magic Trade Show. If you were there then you saw the massive Staple Design Pigeon Coop installation and how much of an impression it made. What started out as just a booth visit turned into sneakerhead SOLE LUVA getting to meet and chop it up with a pioneer in the fashion and sneaker community. I was a little awe struck but i pulled myself together and made it happen and ended up learning alot about Jeff that i didnt know prior. This was a great way to culminate our first Magic experience…S/O to the crew that made the trip (Jay, Matt, Natalie, Prescilla, and Carmena) Thanks for making it memorable! Now lets get into it…..

Before we start, let me say that its an honor to meet you from a sneakerhead stand point because you’ve been in the streetwear and sneaker game for a while.

When did you start designing?

I started designing in the early 90′s like 93/94 and then I actually started Staple in 1997.

Who were you working with before you started your brand?

I was at an OG streetwear company called PNB Nation.

Oh wow, I haven’t heard that one in a minute!

PNB was one of the foundational roots of street culture. Back then, it was basically PNB, Triple5Soul, and Phatfarm… those were really the original guys.

I still got some old T5S gear at the house that i still rock. Give us a brief history behind your brand.

Its really always been about messaging and making sure that every season has a strong concept. The challenge is being able to portray that message out through fashion. Its easy to do it through a t-shirt but to do it through a button down or a pair of denim or a shoe is hard.

We all know how iconic the Pigeon dunk has become..what does it symbolize for you?

To me it was the mentality of that bird, its a warrior to me, it doesnt give up and doesnt take shit from anybody.
It’s the only bird that doesn’t fly away, it walks over your feet and then it shits on your head.

When i saw the first hat with the pigeon poop on the back of it, I took it as you guys saying ” Were shittin on the game pretty much “. When i wear my Pigeon hat, that’s how i feel…like I’m shittin on cats!

In a way, you can take it like that and I love it because only people who know really understand it. People who dont are like A) a pigeon shit on your head and B) why would you pay money for an item that got shit on? But for heads who know, realize what that means are like ” YOU’RE RIGHT ” and it’s good luck.

Really? I did not know that. I knew about lady bugs landing on you but not birds pooping on you.

Any time a bird shits on you, its good luck. So, with you wearing it on your hat, you’ll always have good luck.

Did you expect the response you got from the Pigeon dunk release?

Naw! You can’t plan for shit like that to happen. Even the response from this show when we did this presentation, you can’t plan for it, you can’t expect it. All you can do is prepare and get all your Pigeons in a row, make sure everything is really on point, your planning and execution is good. But ,at the end of the day, its going to come down to how the people react to it. So, when we did the Pigeon dunk, we designed it, we planned it, we picked the release date, we made sure the sample looked good, we made sure the delivery came in on time, but again, at the end of the day, it came down to those kids, those young people waiting in line for 4 days to make it what it was, that’s who made the Pigeon dunk what it was/is, Not Me.

Like with the Jordan 11′s….Tinker made them shine, Mike made them fly, You made them Iconic. What are some brands you have lined up to work with in the near future?

I don’t really like to say who I’m going to work with in the future, but I’ve loved the brands we’ve worked with in the past. ALL OF THEM, and we’re going to continue to do great stuff. I feel the selection of brands we’ve worked with in the past..Nike, Penfield, Levi’s, Oakley, Burton Snowboards, New Era, Starter… these are all great brands that we Love working with them and want to continue to work with them.

Keep working with great brands. Like you I’m sure, We don’t want to attach our name to anything wack! To wrap it up.. Are there any young designers that you look at, check out, and admire?

Our store Reed Space always supports the young up and coming designers. So, I love the brands like Acapulco Gold, Eight Arms & Black Mist, Mighty Healthy of course, brands like this, and they’re not necessarily that young, they’ve been in the game 3-4-5 years now, its just great to see that fresh energy coming out from these streetwear brands.

Can we find you at the store when we come to New York?

Sure..I’m at the store sometimes, if I’m in town.

Thank You! We definitely appreciate you taking the time to talk with us!


-Ceelo aka Sole Luva
Photos by Natalie Aragon

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