Sneaker collaborations have become a crucial part of the sneaker industry. Brands partner up with designers, sneaker boutiques, celebrities, and other brands in producing new sets of sneaker models that sneakerheads and the general market continue to support and patronize. Often, sneaker collaborations involve two or more creative teams transforming classic sneaker models by using fresh design ideas, colorways, or a material upgrade.
These kinds of collaborations gain instant success through three essential elements: style, hype, and expanded audiences.
For a sneaker collaboration to be successful, it has to be attention-worthy and visually pleasing. Sure, sneaker technologies are one thing, but the more significant part of the sneaker market primarily considers a shoe's overall design and style. And for sneaker collaborations, style plays one of the biggest roles for them to be a hit.
Hype is another crucial factor for a collaboration to be successful. Brands would often create a buzz about their upcoming shoes and start marketing these new models before the official release dates. This kind of marketing is usually done to start building the right set of audiences and develop the products' identity and saleability. Another way to create hype is by releasing sneaker models in limited quantities at a limited time.
Since sneaker collaborations involve two or more parties or sets of creative ideas that may have different sets of audiences, these kinds of partnerships on sneakers often result to a fusion of these audiences, hence a much wider range of the market.
Sneakers collaborations are made in partnership with different groups including streetwear brands and sneaker boutiques (Supreme, A Bathing Ape, Off-White, Atmos, BAPE, and Kith), high-end fashion designers (Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, Yohji Yamamoto, Virgil Abloh, Stella McCartney, Jeremy Scott, Rick Owens), famous and influential celebrities (Kanye West, Kylie Jenner, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar) and athletes (Stefan Janoski, Evan Smith, Paul Rodriguez, Michael Jordan), other fashion brands (Kate Spade, Rifle Paper Co., J. Crew, Levi’s, ), and more (Disney characters, Van Gogh, The Simpsons, etc.).
The Nike SB “Pigeon” Dunk Low 2005 Release
One pivotal point in the history of sneaker collaborations is the release of the Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Pigeon on February 22, 2005, at the Reed Space boutique in New York. The $300 limited edition legendary sneaker dubbed as the "Pigeon Dunk Riot" caused quite a stir at the shop that almost resulted in a riot - people spent all night waiting in line, and a fight broke out that New York police officers and media agencies had to show up but no arrests were made.
The momentous event made the Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Pigeon one of the most popular releases in the entire sneaker history. Some dubbed it as the shoe that catapulted sneaker culture to the public, and all that has become possible thanks to Jeff Staple.
Any sneakerhead sure knows Jeff Staple and his impact on the sneaker culture and streetwear. He founded Staple Design and Reed Space and a well-known designer of sneakers with his signature “Pigeon” branding. But the legendary Pigeon SB Dunks weren’t the only Staple sneakers that made an impact. Discussed below are other Staple shoes that shared a spotlight of sneaker releases.
Recent Staple Collaborations with Sneaker Brands
1. Staple Design x Cole Haan 2.ZeroGrand Stitchlite (2017)
In celebration of Staple Design’s 20th Anniversary, the creative brand made a collaborative project with global footwear and accessories brand Cole Haan for limited-edition Staple sneakers, the Staple Design x Cole Haan 2.ZeroGrand Stitchlite. These kicks first dropped on August 1, 2017, via Staple's website, followed by a global release on August 10th.
The 2.ZeroGrand is an updated version of one of Cole Haan’s most comfortable shoes ever produced, the ZeroGrand Wingtip Oxford. For the special collaboration, Staple Design threw its signature aesthetics into the Cole Haan classic silhouette.
Features of the Staple Design x Cole Haan 2.ZeroGrand Stitchlite include the following:
- These modernized Staple sneakers boast a premium knit upper while maintaining the classic Wingtip aesthetic.
- Reflected are signature Pigeon colorways involving a combination of grays, pink, and white.
- Because of their knit upper, these Staple sneakers are lightweight and permit unrestricted movement.
- Featured on the insides are dynamic energy foam insoles.
- The outsoles are made of flexible rubber materials.
- The Staple Pigeon branding is embossed on the insoles and tongue.
- These Staple sneakers are available in men’s sizing from 7 to 13 in Medium width.
- Each pair is priced at $300.
2. Dr. Martens x Staple Design 1461 (2017)
Also part of the Staple Design's 20th Anniversary is a collaborative project with Dr. Martens for a creative spin on the latter's classic 1461 3-eye shoe. The Dr. Martens x Staple Design 1461 first released on June 12, 2017, via the Staple Pigeon's website, then on June 17th via Dr. Martens' Soho (New York) and Camden & Oxford Street (London) stores and on June 19th via the Dr. Martens' UK website. It was also made available in select retailers worldwide for $125.
Features of the Dr. Martens x Staple Design 1461 include the following:
- These Staple shoes feature a soft suede upper with printed camouflage Pigeon details in muted khaki and gray tones.
- Hints of pink are seen on the eyelets, back panel, heel loop tab, and sock liners.
- Also featured is Dr. Martens’ patented AirWair technology for superior comfort and durability.
- Each pair comes with a bespoke box.
3. Jeff Staple x Puma NTRVL Collection (2017)
The Puma NTRVL Collection includes multi-functional apparel and Staple sneakers based on five iconic Puma silhouettes such as the Ignite evoKNIT, Ignite 3, Limitless, Clyde, and BOG Sock. Each shoe donned Staple's signature Pigeon color scheme with a split colored upper. The entire collection released on March 18, 2017, via the official websites of Reed Space and Puma and on March 25 at select Puma stores and retailers. A second drop was made on May 6 of the same year.
Puma x Staple Ignite EvoKNIT
- These Staple sneakers feature Ignite V3 tooling and a premium quality knitted upper for a comfortable and breathable sock-like fit.
- It released in two colorways. One has a dominantly gray upper with pink accents all throughout and a contrasting white midsole. The other colorway, on the other hand, is in black and white.
- Pull tabs are placed on the heel and tongue for easy on and off.
- Each pair initially retailed for $150.
- Men’s sizes range from 4 to 13 in Standard width.
- These Staple sneakers are also called the Puma NTRVL Ignite EvoKNIT.
Puma x Staple Ignite 3
- These Staple shoes feature a redesigned tooling of the Ignite 3 runners.
- It flaunts a breathable and lightweight mesh upper with premium Staple Design treatment and material play.
- The tongue is made of suede material and branded with “NTRVL.”
- The medial and lateral sides donned opposite color-blocking design details.
- The Chevron flex grooves are still incorporated into the midsole.
- These Staple sneakers are released in men’s sizes from 4 to 12 in D Standard width.
- Each pair initially retailed for $125.
- Other retailers and sneaker sites also refer to these Staple sneakers as the Puma NTRVL Ignite 3.
Puma x Staple Ignite Limitless
- Another running silhouette in this limited-edition collection of Staple sneakers is the Puma x Staple Ignite Limitless or also known as the Puma NTRVL Ignite Limitless.
- These low-tops feature top-notch technologies for a running shoe fused with Staple Design’s streetwear aesthetics and signature color schemes.
- Sizes for these Puma and Staple shoes range from men’s 4 to 13, half sizes included, in D Standard width.
- The Puma x Staple Ignite Limitless retailed originally for $125 per pair.
Puma x Staple NTRVL Clyde
- Jeff Staple transformed the iconic Clyde court silhouette with his design expertise on streetwear aesthetics.
- The “High Rise and Glacier Grey” colorway features a tonal Pigeon gray upper with pops of pink on the linings and heel area.
- These Staple sneakers originally retailed for $110.
- Sizes for the Puma NTRVL Clyde ranges from 5.5 to 13 in D Standard width.
Puma x Staple NTRVL BOG Sock
- Puma’s legendary Trinomic runners received a jeffstaple treatment for the NTRVL collaboration. These Staple sneakers got Staple Design’s signature color scheme and material mix, just like the other Staple sneakers in the collection.
- Featured are split-colored mesh and nylon upper, 3M reflective details, and Trinomic inserts in the heel and forefoot.
- Dual brandings are visible on the heel, tongue, and soles.
- These shoes released in men’s sizing from 5.5 to 11 in D Standard width for $130 each pair.
4. Puma x Staple Pigeon Theme Collection (2016)
Jeff Staple AKA jeffstaple, through his namesake brand Staple Design, once again collaborated with Puma for a new line up of Staple sneakers. The collection includes four Staple sneakers that are based on popular Puma silhouettes, the Suede and the Blaze of Glory. Both shoe models received the signature Pigeon colorway donning gray, white, black, and pink color scheme shadowing the iconic 2013 release of the Puma Suede Pigeon.
Staple x Puma Suede
- For this collaboration, Jeff Staple gave an interesting split-like color-blocking design on the iconic Puma Suede silhouette. Three region-specific colorways were made available, "Star White" for America, "Frost Grey" for Europe and the Middle East, and "Pure Black" for the Asia Pacific.
- Sizes range from men 4 to 13 in D Standard width.
- Each pair initially retailed at $100.
Staple x Puma Blaze of Glory
- These Staple sneakers from Puma feature a combination of jeffstaple’s signature Pigeon color scheme and a mix of materials including suede and mesh on the upper.
- The midsole features a speckled print design as a contrast to the upper.
- The laces are gray and printed with a similar speckled pattern.
- These Staple sneakers were made available at select Puma retailers worldwide for $150 per pair.
- Sizes are in men’s from 4 to 13, including half sizes, and in D Standard width.
For this collaboration, Jeff Staple looked back at the time when sneaker culture was all about the hunt. Sneaker enthusiasts had to find extra ways to cop a pair by asking a favor from relatives or friends in, say, Tokyo or Berlin, to get a hand at exclusive or location-specific releases. So for the Puma x Staple Pigeon Pack, the release is a bit out of the ordinary.
The four Staple sneakers in this collection were initially made available all at the same time at Staple Pigeon’s website and physical NYC store in the Lower East Side on September 13, 2016. After that, each colorway of the Suede was divided by continent – the “Star White” for the Americas, the “Frost Grey” for the Middle East and Europe, and the “Pure Black” for the Asia Pacific. The Pigeon iteration of the Blaze of Glory, on the other hand, released globally at Puma.
5. Staple x Fila Pigeon Collection (2016)
At the time of the Reed Space closing in 2016, Jeff Staple brought his signature Pigeon aesthetics into Fila silhouettes for another noteworthy and killer collaboration of Staple sneakers. The Staple x Fila Pigeon Collection involved three popular Fila silhouettes such as the F-13, the Original Fitness, and the Original Tennis. The whole collection released on Labor Day weekend via Fila's official website, Staple Pigeon's official website, DTLR, and City Gear. The Staple x Fila Original Fitness, however, is exclusively released via Staple Pigeon's official website.
Staple x Fila F-13
- These Staple shoes released in four (4) colorways: Grey, Black, White/Gum, and Pink.
- The upper flaunts a combination of full grain leather and suede with a two-tone Fila flag accent.
- There are a double-branded tongue patch and a custom printed footbed.
- Additional lace sets are provided for these Staple sneakers.
- The lace tips are branded as well.
- Each pair retailed for $77.
Staple x Fila Original Fitness
- There are three colorways for these particular Staple sneakers: Grey, Black, and White/Gum.
- The upper utilizes a combination of full grain leather and suede with a two-tone Fila flag accent.
- The tongue patch displays dual branding of Fila and Staple Pigeon.
- Extra lace sets are included with every purchase of these kicks.
- The lace tips of these Staple sneakers are branded as well.
- The Staple x Fila Original Fitness is priced at $70 for each pair.
Staple x Fila Original Tennis
- For these particular Staple shoes, three colorways were also released: Grey, Black, and White.
- All colorways feature a full grain leather and suede material combination with identical two-tone Fila Flag accent.
- The tongue boasts dual-branding as well, while an embossed Fila logo is seen on the sides.
- Like the F-13 and the Original Fitness iterations in this collection, these Staple sneakers also feature a custom printed footbed and come with additional lace sets.
- These Staple sneakers are priced $90 per pair.
6. Staple x Timberland #POLARNIGHT Collection (2015)
The Staple x Timberland #POLARNNIGHT Collection released on January 30, 2015, through select Timberland retailers. It is a three-piece collection inspired by the Polar Night, a natural phenomenon that occurs in northernmost and southernmost regions of the Earth when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. Staple sneakers under this collaboration are a fusion of Staple’s design aesthetic with Timberland’s top-notch footwear technologies and exceptional craftsmanship. Included in this collection are the Lace Ox, the Nordic Field Boot, and the GT Scramble. All shoes released in limited quantities and sold out immediately.
Staple x Timberland Lace Ox
The Lace Ox took inspiration from the Timberland Abington Cap-Toe Oxford. It released in men’s sizing from 7 to 13 in D Standard width and retailed at $130.
Features of these Staple sneakers include the following:
- The Staple x Timberland Lace Ox has a low-top construction with a dark of night leather, including a durable and abrasion-resistant Helcor® leather toe.
- It also has a contrasting white sole unit equipped with Timberland exclusive Anti-Fatigue technology in the midsole for superb comfort, shock absorption, and energy return.
- Staple’s signature Pigeon pink accents are visible on the heel area, inner linings, and top-most metal eyelets.
- A side zipper closure, in addition to lace-up fastening system, is added as well for easy on and off.
- These Staple shoes also have 100% recycled PET lining made from recycled plastic bottles for breathable comfort and 100% recycled rubber outsole for traction.
Staple x Timberland Nordic Field Boot
These Staple sneakers are also called the Staple x Timberland Nordic Hiker and are made for men with sizes ranging from 7 to 13 in D Standard width. Each pair of these black sneakers retailed at $200.
The Nordic Field Boot features the following:
- It has a hiking-inspired high-top construction with sufficient ankle support and a classic field boot sole on the bottom.
- One signature feature is a contrasting white welt against the midnight leather upper and dark sole.
- Pigeon pink accents are also visible, just like in the other two Staple sneakers in the collection.
- There is a rugged and durable Helcor® leather on the heel for protection against abrasion.
- Added is a side zipper for convenient wearing along with rustproof, speed lace hardware with lace hooks.
- These Staple shoes also have 100% recycled PET lining made from recycled plastic bottles for breathable comfort.
- Reflective pull tabs are featured on the heel for convenient wearing.
Staple x Timberland GT Scramble
These limited-edition Staple sneakers, like the other two exclusives in the Polar Night collection, come in dark leather upper with Pigeon pink accents. It flaunts a rugged look typical of Timberland hiking boots that also fits the streets and urban adventures. Sizes available are in men’s and range from 7 to 13, including half sizes, in D Standard width.
The Staple x Timberland GT Scramble has the following features:
- The uppers of these Staple shoes are covered in dark leathers with mesh underlays and Helcor® leather accents.
- Another unique design accent of these Staple sneakers is the side zipper that comes along with a rustproof speed lace hardware with lace hooks for convenient wearing and secure fit.
- These also feature 100% recycled PET lining made from recycled plastic bottles.
- The rubber sole is equipped with Gripstick™ technology – Timberland’s stickiest rubber with 42% recycled Green Rubber™ compound.
Notable Staple Sneakers
Staple x New Balance 575 “Pigeon” (2008)
Staple Design and New Balance collaborated in August 2008 to give an updated aesthetic to the classic 575 runner silhouette. The Staple x New Balance 575 “Pigeon” boasts an exact similar color scheme as the legendary Nike Pigeon Dunk SB and embroidered Pigeon brandings on the heel. In addition to the original Pigeon logo is an embroidered flying pigeon on one shoe.
Release information about these Staple shoes:
- The Staple x New Balance 575 “Pigeon” released on August 2008.
- These Staple sneakers were limited to about 800 pairs globally or about 144 pairs per region.
Staple x New Balance 575 “White Pigeon” (2009)
Released in August 2009 is Staple’s fresh creative take on the New Balance 575 silhouette. The Staple x New Balance 575 is a follow up to the New Balance 575 Pigeon x Staple that released a year earlier, with a different and new colorway setting it apart from the usual Pigeon color scheme. These Staple sneakers are dubbed as the “White Pigeon” primarily because they donned an off-white/bone upper instead of Staple’s signature gray.
Release information about these Staple sneakers:
- The Staple x New Balance 575 “White Pigeon” is a limited release.
- A total of 1,077 pairs were distributed worldwide on August 18th, 2009. These kicks were sold at select participating retailers overseas, including Mita (Japan), Atmos (Japan), Undefeated (Japan), Size? (UK), Hanon (UK), Titolo (SWZ), Clot (HK), Vault (SING), Doc Dog (BRZ), and Shelter (MEX) among many others.
- For North America, these Staple shoes were made available through Reed Space in New York City, Barneys in Los Angeles, and Goodfoot in Canada.
Staple x Size? x New Balance 577 “Black Pigeon” (2012)
Otherwise known as the New Balance 577 “Black Pigeon,” these Staple sneakers are products of a creative collaboration between Jeff Staple, New Balance, and UK-based retailer Size? In 2012. This special iteration of the 577 features a dominantly black upper with hints of pink on the tongue, inner linings, and outsole and contrasting white midsole.
Other notable features of the New Balance 577 “Black Pigeon”:
- These Staple sneakers feature a mixture of premium materials all throughout. The upper is made of robust paneled leather.
- On the toe box is a honeycombed ripstop nylon material.
- Staple + New Balance dual branding is displayed on the insoles.
- These shoes are made in the UK.
Release information about these Staple sneakers:
- The Staple x Size? x New Balance 577 “Black Pigeon” dropped at Reed Space in NYC and Size? locations in the UK on November 17th, 2012.
- More pairs of these sneakers were made available on December 1st, 2012 through additional retailers across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America.
Staple x Puma Suede “Pigeon” (2013)
These Staple sneakers are the first of many hyped shoes from Staple's collaboration with Puma. They are meticulously handcrafted in Japan as part of Puma's "Made in Japan" campaign. These Staple sneakers were limited only to 500 pairs.
The Puma Suede "Pigeon" first released exclusively in-store at Reed Space NYC on April 17, 2013, while a select worldwide release followed on May 3 of the same year. Each pair originally retailed at $200 each, but its current resale value could get as high as $1,000 a pair.
The characteristics of these Staple sneakers include the following:
- The “Pigeon” Suede features the signature Staple colors in shades of grey with white and pink accents.
- A signature Pigeon graphic is displayed on the heel.
- These Staple sneakers also feature dual branding on the tongue and midfoot area.
Staple x Sneakpeek x Nike Air Max Zero “Pigeon” (2016)
The Staple x Sneakpeek x Nike Air Max Zero "Pigeon" is one special Staple sneakers collaboration that released exclusively at Sneakpeek in the Philippines on August 26, 2016. Only 75 pairs were made available via a live in-store raffle with Jeff Staple himself. Each pair is priced at 19,990 PHP and comes with a customized wood box with the edition number, a Sneakpeek x Staple shoe bag, and a signed Sneaker Riot poster.
aple Pigeon's signature color scheme of gray, white, and pink, and the mesh upper has tonal fused layers for added support. On the heel is an embroidered "NYC," which represents Staple's hometown. Lastly, on the forefoot area is a subdued embossed Pigeon logo.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are Staple sneakers?
“Staple sneakers” is a collective term for collaborative sneakers that Jeff Staple AKA jeffstaple designed in partnership with sneaker brands such as Puma, Timberland, Adidas, Nike, Cole Haan, and more.
2. Who is Jeff Staple?
Jeff Staple, born Jeff Ng and also known as jeffstaple, is a well-known creative designer and businessman. He founded Staple Pigeon in 1997 with a small line of handmade T-Shirts. Aside from the Staple Pigeon, he also established a visual communications agency based in New York City called the Staple Design. It has three main divisions – a clothing collection, a creative agency, and a retail store. It has worked with popular brands such as Microsoft, Nike, Timberland, Uniqlo, Sony, Lotus, Kia, New Balance, Oakley, LVMH, and more.
Under the umbrella of Staple Design is the Reed Space, one of the world's best boutiques that house independent fashion brands, sneakers, arts, publications, accessories, music, etc.
Per Staple Pigeon’s official website, “@jeffstaple is also a member of The #Hypebeast100, #Heineken100, Anthos Capital Group, The AIGA, Soho House, Neue House, Grind Space, Agenda Emerge, Apple Keynote Speaker, SneakerCon Legends Series, Remy Martin Circle of Centaurs, The Parsons 30 Alumni, Google Explorer.”
3. What is the story behind the name Staple?
Back in 1997, Jeff Ng was just starting to create graphic T-shirts of his design. He walked into the Triple 5 Soul store wearing one of the shirts he printed in his silkscreen class when a guy in the store asked to buy his shirts, but he didn't have a brand yet. So, right there and then he had to come up with a brand, and he thought of "Staple." From then on, he was called Jeff Staple, and the rest was history.
4. What is the meaning of the Pigeon logo?
All Staple sneakers flaunt a Pigeon logo as Jeff Staple’s signature branding. When jeffstaple initially formed an idea for a brand logo, he wanted to embody an animal like how other successful brands owns one and instantaneously be associated with it. He chose a pigeon as it represents New York City and the street mentality that surrounds it.
5. What kind of aesthetics do Staple shoes flaunt?
Regardless of which sneaker brand that Staple collaborated with, Staple sneakers have a signature aesthetic that makes them easily recognizable. These kicks often follow a Pigeon color scheme, which involves shades of gray, pink, black, and white. The signature Pigeon graphic logo is typically presented as well.
6. Why are Staple sneakers difficult to cop?
Most of the time, sneaker enthusiasts experience difficulties in acquiring a pair of Staple sneakers because these types of collaborative sneaker models are released in limited quantities in select retailers. More so, some Staple sneakers are being released exclusively in specific regions or select physical stores, which only give them a sense of exclusivity.
7. What makes Staple shoes highly popular and a must-have?
Most Staple sneakers are highly popular because of several factors. Aside from the fact that these kinds of sneakers are released in limited quantities, they have this Staple Pigeon's signature style that sneakerheads, sneaker collectors and enthusiasts, and even regular sneaker buyers often find “dope” and a must-have.
Because of Staple sneakers’ limited availability, they somehow create an idea of exclusivity for buyers, therefore increasing its saleability. Pre-release announcements also often create a hype, which results in highly-anticipated Staple sneakers.
Another reason is that for some sneakerheads, Staple sneakers could bring a sense of nostalgia. They also make excellent additions to sneaker collections.
8. How much are Staple sneakers?
Prices of Staple sneakers vary depending on the partner brand, base shoe model, and materials and technologies utilized. Since these sneakers are released in limited quantities (and often through special releases), they are relatively more expensive than their base shoe model counterparts. For example, the Puma Ignite Limitless retails at $110, but its Staple sneakers counterpart, the Puma x Staple Ignite Limitless retails at $125.
9. How limited and exclusive are sneakers designed in collaboration with jeffstaple?
Staple sneakers are released in limited quantities. Most of them are released exclusively through the Staple Pigeon’s official website ahead of their global or select retailers release. These sneakers are also released through the partner brand’s official website, but some special colorways are only made available exclusively via the Staple Pigeon’s website.
In some collabs, like the 2016 collaboration on the Nike Air Max Zero silhouette with the Manila-based retailer Sneakpeek, the release was highly limited (only 75 pairs), and exclusive only through Sneakpeek via a live in-store raffle.
10. Where can I buy a pair of Staple shoes?
Sneakers designed by jeffstaple can be purchased through the Staple Pigeon’s official website and the partner sneaker brand of that particular sneaker collaborative model that you are eyeing. These Staple sneakers are also available at select partner retailers, depending on the sneaker brand collaboration partner.
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