F5: Jeff Staple Loves the Classics + the Contemporary Alike

05.05.23 | By
F5: Jeff Staple Loves the Classics + the Contemporary Alike

Jeff Staple, born Jeffrey Ng, is a creative visionary who has created work that encompasses graphics, fashion, and footwear design, as well as brand marketing. He’s the founder of REED ART DEPARTMENT (or RAD, formerly known as Staple Design), where he’s worked on countless projects for clients that range from startup brands to Fortune 100 companies. 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Jeff founding STAPLE, the New York-based pioneering streetwear brand, with the now infamous “Pigeon” logo, and later experiential lifestyle boutique, REED SPACE in 2002.

Today, Jeff continues to explore and traverse new territory as creator and host of the Coinbase_NFT podcast “Do Process,” the heir to his renowned “Business of Hype” podcast on HYPEBEAST. He shares professional advice as one of the top teachers on SKILLSHARE, and is a pioneer in the web3 space as founder of the STAPLEVERSE, a new digital world that’s based on everything he’s learned during his time as a cultural leader.

light-skinned bald man wearing a black shirt sits behind a table displaying shoes

Jeff Staple \\\ Photo: Ali Imam

In addition to his work as a creative, Jeff is a trusted voice in the business world, where he’s a frequent moderator, lecturer, and keynote speaker at industry panels and conferences. He continues to expand his “Positive Social Contagion” worldwide, going on more than two decades and counting.

Today, Jeff Staple joins us for Friday Five!

modern black and gold silverware and chopsticks

1. Cutipol Flatwear

My favorite kitchen flatware. Crafted in Portugal, Cutipol is a world-class brand renowned for its quality and design. José Ribeiro founded Cutipol in 1963, taking the strong heritage of Portuguese handmade cutlery across the world. Together with his children, he traveled the world to find the most advanced machines and processes. I love that his wife and cofounder, Alice Marques, is the true lifeblood of the business – responsible for all production and development.

modern beige, brown, and blue hightop hiking shoes

2. Merrell Hydro Moc AT Puff Mid 1TRL

Merrell exists to share the simple power of being outside – the trail is for everyone. The Hydro Moc all-terrain system is an evolution of the instant classic – and divisive – Hydro Moc, taking it out of the water and into varied environments. It features their signature EVA foam cage upper, which is super-resilient and water friendly. The Puffy system uses a 200g Primaloft® Eco Series Synthetic insulated upper, a midsole made from BLOOM® performance foam made from 10% algae biomass, and an external rear sling that locks in the heel, with a toggle lace closure giving the wearer easy-on easy-off functionality. Looks pretty darn cool, too. A must have to add to the collection.

modern black chair

3. Ceragem

The Ceragem V6 is the latest addition to my home. A beautiful piece of furniture from Korea that is also an FDA cleared Class II medical device which helps provide temporary relief of muscle and joint pain, blood circulation, and relaxation of muscles. It can be tailored to each user’s unique spinal length and curvature. Heated massage rollers scan and analyze the user’s spinal length and curvature to provide a customized massage for all kinds of body shapes. It also features Intensive Thermal Therapy at 149°F, plus Air Cell Massager Booties to promote blood circulation to your legs! A must after a long flight or intense workout.

collage of graphic snack bags reading Irwins

4. Irvins Chips

Starting in Singapore in 2009, these strange salted egg chips became my true addiction the moment I discovered them. It’s been super hard to find Irvins in the States, but now they’re becoming a bit more available! (Bad for my waistline!) Irvins’ hand-select ingredients like curry leaves, chili peppers, and upcycled salmon skin, then salt-brine real duck egg yolks for 30 days, steaming them into a savory crumble (no powders!). Truly unique, truly addictive.

modern armchair and ottoman

5. Eames x RAD Chair

My agency, Reed Art Dept, collaborated with Parc to create this incredible rendition of the classic 1970s Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Parc is a furniture design and fabrication firm that manages high-level projects, from conceptual design phase through to final production, from large scale commercial projects to one-off residential projects. This piece has sold out, but is available for pre-order with a three month delivery window.



Work by Jeff Staple:

running shoe displayed in a panorama

Allbirds, 2022 STAPLE Dasher \\\ For our collaboration with Allbirds, we had a conversation around carbon emissions and sustainability in the sneaker community. The 2022 STAPLE Dasher updated the “inside out” style of the first collaboration in 2020, but with a new twist: it displayed a carbon footprint of 12.5 kg CO2 – printed proudly on the outside of the shoe – to account for the factors of its carbon footprint.

side-by-side images of patterned fabric swatches and those swatches attached to a beige hoodie sweatshirt

Champion Craft Series \\\ One of my favorite projects the agency has worked on is the Champion Craft Series. We helped Champion spotlight six “Crafters” we selected from around the country who used the Reverse Weave sweatshirt as a blank canvas to create their own capsule collections. The inaugural group included Advisory Board Crystals, Arrrtaddict, Bandulu, Benjamin Edgar, Gabriela Noelle, and Regina Yazdi. The collection debuted on NTWRK and was followed by a multi-city tour in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. To me, this project really embodied the spirit of creativity and the power of collaboration.

four different sneaker designs on a white background

Cole Haan x Keith Haring. RAD \\\ We worked with Cole Haan to design a special-edition collection of shoes inspired by the iconic artist Keith Haring. The collection included two styles, the ØriginalGrand and GrandPrø Rally, each of which featured the artist’s signature bold outlines and some of his most memorable characters, including the snake and the radiant baby.

a person wearing light grey crocs having just stepped in pink gum on a sidewalk

STAPLE x Crocs – Sidewalk Luxe \\\ Crocs went from being the shoes you would only wear inside your house to one of the hottest – and most comfortable – footwear items in the streetwear industry. Last year, we released our own collaboration with Crocs called the STAPLE x Crocs – Sidewalk Luxe. The design details paid homage to the NYC streets, from the sidewalks to the city trash, while the giant talon Jibbitz™ were a nod to the pigeon mascot of STAPLE. They’re also the largest Jibbitz™ ever created!

magazine cover reading REED with a brown-skinned man with facial hair wearing a black t-shirt and green crown

Reed Magazine \\\ Reed Magazine’s mission is to create a platform where we can share authentic stories about the people and things that inspire us, and truly give our readers a better sense for what makes them tick. Reed Magazine is our return to the timeless art of print journalism, tapping into Reed Art Department’s unique insight on modern streetwear, sneaker, and fashion culture. For our latest issue, we featured the iconic king of footwear – Salehe Bembury.

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Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.