When Jeff Staple's name comes up, talk inevitably turns to the Pigeon Dunk. In 2005, Staple collaborated with Nike SB on a Dunk Low whose design was inspired by the omnipresent New York City bird. After that, nothing was the same. When the sneaker released at Staple's Lower East Side boutique Reed Space, it sparked a frenzy, as customers scuffled to try and secure a pair. The incident was reported on the front page of the New York Post. In many ways, the moment signaled a sea change, not just for Staple, but for sneakers in general, as they transitioned from a niche subculture into something much larger.
But while Staple is closely identified with the Pigeon Dunk (a black version of which was released in 2017), he is much more than a one-shoe wonder. Staple has been contributing designs to brands such as Nike since before the era of "collaboration" even began. The "Navigation Pack" was the first collection he released with Nike, in 2004, and consisted of three silhouettes (Air Burst, Shox NZ, and Air Max 90) that paid tribute to New York, London, and Tokyo. And as the excitement around the recent "Black Pigeon" Dunk showed last year, Staple's relevance has not diminished over the ensuing years.