This week we are excited to present a look at New York City company Staple Design’s Spring/Summer 2012 apparel collection. “Theology” is the theme, centered around bible verse Mark 8:36, which is printed on a hidden label inside every shirt. Staple’s iconic pigeon, a symbol of perseverance and strength in numbers, can also be found on the short sleeve tees (which are redesigned this season with updated construction and new material) and snapback hats, along with more artist collaborations that the company is famous for. One such shirt, featuring the work of photographer Jonathan Mannion, recalls the Staple Design founder’s previous work at Rawkus Records. The collection officially launches today and is available online at Reed Space.
The white open-plan office could easily be the headquarters of any successful design agency in New York. Looking closer into the tidy clutter, you’ll register sneakers on the shelves and pigeons (plastic) roosting in the corner—realizing this is the home to a company named Staple Design. And in control of this creative coop is none other than Jeff Ng.
Better known as jeffstaple, Jeff presides over a small empire that boosts a retail space cum art gallery (Reed Space NYC and Reed Space Tokyo), menswear collection (Staple Apparel), and quarterly magazine (Reed Pages) in addition to the internationally known creative agency. Staple Design is the driving force behind many well-received projects and collaborations, the most infamous being the 2005 Nike Pigeon Dunks, whose launch caused a consumer frenzy immortalized in news headlines and police reports. The company’s work is impressively diverse, spanning from high-end, like a 2008 project with British car manufacturer Lotus, to the widely affordable, like a sold-out sneaker collection with Payless Shoes. Recently, Staple Design has used its prominence in streetwear culture to launch a humanitarian initiative called truth1585, an effort to “outbrand” and take down the big tobacco industry.
Jeff’s success is an inspiring story of entrepreneurship. From humble beginnings as a hair salon sweeper and double college dropout (first from NYU and then from Parsons), Jeff attributes everything to hard work, though it might be interesting to note that he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol or bite of pork since 1993. But with a penchant for quality desk chairs and an extensive collection of letter openers, there is no doubt about his work ethic. His mantra is simply “work harder” and he strives to perfect every detail, even if it meant pushing back the publish date of his magazine. To young entrepreneurs, Jeff says he wishes he had more business education and encourages traveling in order to meet people and “see the bigger picture”. Ironically, to this day, Jeff, keeping to his salon boy roots, shaves his own head and has taught courses at both his almost-alma maters.
Images courtesy of Staple Design