Jeff Staple took the stage to discuss brand relevance and his streetwear legacy during the FN CEO Summit at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Staple, who’s helmed his staple-sneaker-collaborations-guide-1203318082/” data-ylk=”slk:own streetwear brand” class=”link “own streetwear brand since 1997 and launched numerous viral collaborations, reminisced on his time in the streetwear world with FN’s senior news and features editor, Peter Verry, and said it’s a trajectory that’s still sinking in.
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Recalling his start selling T-shirts made after breaking into the Parsons School of Design’s silkscreening lab, Staple attributed consistency to his success.
“Trust me, 25 years later, it’s unbelievable that I have a streetwear brand attracting youth culture for a quarter century,” said the cover star of FN’s August issue. “Right from the beginning, I knew I wanted to create a legacy brand. I thought, ‘Why couldn’t street culture produce a legacy brand that lasts forever?’”
Justin Bettman for FN
This same logic was at play when Staple gave his brand its title. The designer describes it as “a raw, special element that you can’t live without,” describing his process as “just left, right, one step in front of the other for 25 years.”
Staple is a self-affirmed shoe collector, counting between 300 and 500 pairs in his own wardrobe. Though he’s heard rumors of the death of sneaker culture throughout his career, the creative confirmed his belief that “we are never going back.”
Remembering the origins of sneaker collecting becoming mainstream, Staple recalled how the standard shoe rotation of seven pairs expanded to 30-40 styles. The cause, according to him, is the “different adaptations and environments to wear different kinds of footwear”