Photo Courtesy of Jeff Staple
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Staple


Jeff Staple, Communication Designer

Sitting down with Jeff Staple in his main office at STAPLE Design was inspiring, to say the least. The place looked like a sanctuary for all things creative, from apparel, objects, books, and, of course, sneakers. He offered a glimpse into the heart and hustle it takes to build a brand from scratch, navigate the ever-evolving world of streetwear, and stay creative as an entrepreneur.


Listen to Jeff Staple tell his Story


One of the biggest takeaways was the importance of dedication over pure talent. Jeff wasn’t the most naturally gifted artist, but his hard work using silk screen printing in college blossomed into Staple Design. It was inspiring to hear how his first employees were just friends he met on the basketball court, highlighting the organic and resourceful beginnings of the brand.

This conversation wasn’t just about the early days, though. Jeff’s journey is a series of fascinating transitions. From working alone in his apartment to building a team and eventually landing a killer deal on office space in Manhattan, his story is a masterclass in entrepreneurial growth.

We talked about the iconic Nike Pigeon Dunk project. A trip to Japan for a story on limited-edition sneakers sparked a collaboration that produced a legendary shoe.

The conversation shifted to the changing landscape of youth culture. Jeff’s observations about the focus on quick fame over building a solid foundation resonated deeply.

Another critical point Jeff emphasized was the power of teamwork. Building a strong team allows you to excel beyond your own limitations. It was fascinating to hear about the evolution of Reed Space, his multi-brand store, from a platform for global finds to a sought-after destination for brands. I loved Reed Space; I always stopped in for a creative update whenever I was in the area.

He also introduced me to the concept of “Shokunin,” a Japanese philosophy that emphasizes the love for the creative process itself, not just the final product.

We even chatted about music and collaborations. His admiration for musicians and his experience designing for groups like Fifth Platoon gave me a cool perspective into another facet of his creative world. Shout out to DJ Neil Armstrong; I still listen to his mixes from back in the day.

Finally, reminiscing about the vibrant New York creative scene of the late 90s and early 2000s was a trip down memory lane.

Jeff Staple’s story is more than just about sneakers and streetwear; it’s a testament to the unwavering dedication to his craft, the power of authenticity, and the ability to adapt and thrive in a dynamic creative landscape.

This short reflection on my conversation with Jeff Staple offers a glimpse of his story. However, for the full spectrum experience, try scrolling back up and listening to the entire conversation to unlock the complete story.

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