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Beyond the Pigeon: A Look at Staple's Lesser-Known Nike Colabs

Date: November 10 2017

By: Matt Williams

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The arrival of the 'Black Pigeon' has shown that Jeff Staple still knows how to drum up SB hysteria. However, Pigeon Dunks aren't the only shoes in Nike's flock that Staple has been involved with. Taking a step inside the vault, the Swoosh lift the veil on five other projects created with Staple Design.

THE NAVIGATION PACK (2004)

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A tribute to the diehard collectors that would scour the globe in pursuit of the perfect pair, The Navigation Pack encompassed men's and women's make-ups of three standout sneakers made for life on the go. The Air Max 90, Air Burst and Shox NZ were each hit with lasered graphics of the world's three sneaker meccas: New York, Tokyo and London. The release marked one of the first times that lasered graphics were made widely available to the public.

AIR RIFT & CORTEZ LASER (2005)

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In a move to inject Nike's silhouettes with premium status on shelves, Staple took advantage of Nike's then-new laser-etching technology to intricately engrave a duo of iconic retro silhouettes. The laser designs themselves were inspired by the tattoo imagery popularised in ancient Japan.

NIKE RECESS FEDERATION (2005)

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Probing beyond sneaker colabs, Staple identified the difficulty of shooting hoops in New York City – especially indoors – and approached Nike for help. The result was the Nike Recess Federation, or NRF for short. The NRF was a special league of just 100 players made up of acclaimed NYC personalities and influencers who would meet up weekly and take to the hardwood. While Nike offered the platform, they credit Jeff Staple as the 'commissioner.' While it was hard enough to make it into the league, it was harder still to get your hands on the uber-rare 'NRF' Dunk – these were reserved exclusively for the league's annual champs.

THE NORDIC PACK (2006)

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To (unofficially) tie in with 2006's Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Staple was called on to create a four-shoe collection inspired by Italian Winter. The Air Force 1, Air Stab, Court Force and Dunk all received a European makeover that included the use of wool fabrics and twin lacing. Passport stamps were applied to the insoles commemorating the jet-setting excursion.

WHAT THE DUNK (2007)

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Despite being one of most well-known of all SB Dunks, Staple's involvement in the 'What the Dunk' project managed to fly under the radar. While Nike haven't explained Staple's contribution specifically, the shoe marked the second time in history that the 'Pigeon' adorned the heel of the Dunk.

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