Jeff Staple has overcome many challenges during his 25-year career in graphic design, fashion and footwear, and brand marketing. His next goal: to conquer the metaverse.
The designer founded his New York streetwear brand STAPLE in 1997, using a now iconic pigeon graphic. In the years that followed, he founded the visual communication agency Staple Design and the Reed Space boutique and worked with established brands like Nike, Timberland and Clarks. More recently, the designer has immersed himself in the NFT and crypto spaces, partnering with RTFKT Studios on his “METAPIGEON” NFT sneakers and partnering with entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck for the NFT “Perspective Pigeon” collaboration.
Today, Staple is fully embracing web3, this time by creating a digital world called STAPLES which is filled with colorful characters, rare collectibles, and evolving stories based on his roots in New York City.
“The stars kind of aligned because it’s actually STAPLE’s 25th anniversary as a brand,” he told HYPEBEAST. “We’ve been working on it for a quarter of a century now. And it makes perfect sense that this is the year we step into an entirely new universe. ”
Wednesday marks Chapter 1 of what Staple calls a “social experience of collaborative storytelling told by Pigeonz from around the world.” The story begins in New York City, home to the EMPIRE STAPLE PIGEONZ, and revolves around Staple’s iconic pigeon and his existence in New York City, from what he eats to where he poops.
– Stapleverse (@stapleverse) December 21, 2021
The FEED NFT drop includes 20 different types of “food” that a New York pigeon would eat – from pizza and bagels to subway tokens and cigarette butts – with a maximum supply of 10,000 to 0.1 ETH per NFT. As the STAPLEVERSE continues to develop, collectors will have the choice of keeping their FEED or discarding their FEED and becoming part of the HOOD PIGEON SQUAD or POOP GANG, writing the STAPLEVERSE story in real time.
“I have always had New York in my DNA”, he says of the inspiration for his project, which appealed to the artist B. Thom Stevenson to pay homage to New York’s “era of screen printing and stencil culture”.
Staple says each of the versions of NFT will be “equally dope,” although he hints that the POOP GANG will have “so much use” down the line, while the HOOD PIGEONS will be able to earn royalties for their borough of New. York via the secondary market. transactions. He adds that STAPLEVERSE’s vision extends beyond the Empire State.
“We could keep going to different cities and universes, and then what happens when the Osaka pigeon meets the Bronx pigeon?” ” he says. “It’s almost like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
“That’s all I couldn’t have done in the physical world,” he continues. “Even if I had done it with retail stores and designers, it would have been a monumental five-year project involving logistics and supply chains and all that.”
As the crypto spaces continue to evolve at a breakneck pace, Staple is confident in the new opportunities for creatives to connect with an audience and grow their brand.
“Traditionally, creatives have always been like playing Whac-A-Mole, trying to solve a problem, making money and then moving on,” he explains. “One of the things I always try to say to creatives is [about blockchain and NFTs] it’s that now you have the opportunity to own your intellectual property, to actually claim it, and to make it sustainable in the long term. ”
Speaking to other OG streetwear designers and historic brands, Staple encourages them to get involved in the crypto space and really ‘become the customer’ in order to be successful.
“The reason you’re probably a designer or have a brand is that you’re a customer and a fan first,” he says. “Look at OpenSea. Start with “What do I like?” »Forget the prices. Forget about the investment. Forget about flipping and just buy something. And even if it’s overflowing, it doesn’t matter because you love the artwork.