Jeff Staple sells out to Airwalk & Payless:

WOW!!! WTF!.. I just had to share this…

(The power of the all mighty $)

Staple, also owner and founder of Staple Clothing and Reed Space, defies a singular description as a creative talent in graphic, web, clothing and shoe design, as well as an artist, DJ, curator, sneakerhead, writer, entrepreneur, tastemaker, and arbiter of street style. He has been heavily sought after for his creative influence by the likes of Nike, Burton, Apple Computers, The Gap and Sony Playstation, among other companies and brands.

“This collaboration with a designer of Jeff’s stature and influence is tremendous for the Airwalk brand,” said Bruce Pettet, president and chief executive officer of the Collective Licensing International, owner of the Airwalk brand. “This alliance fits the brand’s heritage and, more importantly, helps us continue to innovate and build the Airwalk brand with our target consumer.”
The exclusive STPL™ 4 Airwalk(R) line will launch in fall '09 at about 400 Payless stores and Payless.com(R) and is expected to include as many as 12 original designs for men and women each season including new silhouettes and core Airwalk styles featuring mixed materials and contemporary, progressive details stressing streetwear and skate style. The new line will sell for about $50 a pair.

Here’s the entire article…

http://www.examiner.com/p-268353~Designer_and_Street_Style_Icon__jeffstaple__to_Create_Exclusive_Airwalk_R__Collection.html


It seems like anyone and everyone is either getting bailed out or selling out the past six month!

GURU

interesting. thanks for sharing.

not sure though how working with Airwalk and Payless is any more “selling out” than working for Nike or Apple though. Not a bad thing, but I think he sold out a long time ago when he went from graf to commercial graphic art. These days especially art/lifestyle is a business…

R

If you check the website ( http://www.stapledesign.com ) it’s presented as a design agency as opposed to one guy and his street wear label. They’re a business, a ‘visual communications agency’. I don’t see this any different to fuseproject, astro studios or any other design firm working with companies. And Richard is right, how is it any different from accepting money from Nike and apple? I think the term ‘sell out’ is thrown around way to loosely.

don’t be silly, it is way different. Think about it more.

or put another way, if it is not different, then I guess Target and Wallmart are the same thing.

don’t be silly, it is way different. Think about it more.

or put another way, if it is not different, then I guess Target and Wallmart are the same thing.

THANK’S YO…


Designing collaborations or “one offs” for legit brands is one thing… Working for the dead brand ‘Airwalk’ now owned by a Chinese factory agent that also started the knock off masters “Payless Shoes” is another thing. Adidas gazelles with 4 stripes anyone?

Ok, not the best example I know, but I didn’t mean it so literally. WalMart and Target are the same, in that they’re a store. Staple are no different in the sense that they are a design agency that present themselves in the same manner as the companies I listed, as opposed to these guys:

Who I see as more collaborators, artists, as apposed to an ‘agency’. I’m not saying this means Jeff Staple can never sell out, it just seems he’s trying to move away from the fashion-icon/hypebeast side of things, just reading the opening sentence on his website proves this.

And I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s sold out just because GURU doesn’t think Airwalk are cool enough. That’s his job, to make the cool kids buy them! Maybe Converse should give him a call?
:stuck_out_tongue:

Careful.

Careful.

:blush:

Just having a laugh, but seriously though, do you think he sold out?

I don’t disagree with you, it was simply based on the fact that they’re both design agency’s, with emphasis on the word agency, just to differentiate between a collaborative illustrator/graffiti artist etc. If it was D*Face x Airwalk, I’d agree, sell-out. But Jeff Staple is so much more than a graffiti artist now, like Richard said he sold out a long time ago.

One thing I don’t understand though is why they’re ‘collaborating’. They expect to release a Staple shoe one season and after that that’s it, people will like them? Surely they could use Staple design more effectively, in the background, working on the brand image, would come off a lot less ‘sell-out’ for both companies as well. Bad move on Airwalks part if anything, people will see through this.

He should have done the work ‘under he radar’ and didn’t put his name on it… Like Nike has airbag shoes @ Walmart under another name. I just hope he received a good paycheck for this. I don’t see him being able to get a legit design gig after this is over.

That’s all, I’m over it now,
GURU

I don’t see him being able to get a legit design gig after this is over.

There’s plenty more companies like Airwalk. But you’re right, I don’t think people will be rushing stores for shoes with pigeons embroided on them anymore.

Right, but, for the record, not anymore, and they never had airbags.

Right, but, for the record, not anymore, and they never had airbags.

Good to know.

Hmmm… I thought it was Tencel air or an internal heel air bag under the sockliner. I guess I’ve killed too many brain cells :wink:

wow, I have so much tosay on this topic, i don’t know where to start.

First off, I’d welcome any definitions that would help to clarify the seeming devide between “art” and “design” (or commercial art, perhaps). Is it something to do with getting paid (ie. graf artists don’t do it or money, though many successful artists surely do). Is it something to do with exposure or reaching a critical mass (ie. a “collab” “limited edition” that sells 100 pairs is OK, but not a more broadly available style that sell 100,000? Is it intent- in which case do the other factor go out the window?..

The way I see it, the big brands, small brands and “independent” artists these days all embrace the commercial aspects of their work for pretty simple reasons- it’s hard to establish a "success with out it. If it’s Damion Hurst selling a diamond encrusted skull for millions or a graph artist doing a sell-out collab, on what other basis is there to determine what’s good? What’s good is what people appreciate and by those standards a value is attached. It’s not selling out.

As of Jeff Staple and Airwalk, as I said before I don’t see any difference between this and a Stash x Nike collab or anything else. It’s a benefit to both the artist ($) and brand (expose, $), so all wins.

Airwalk, I should also point out isn’t as bad as some here make it out to be. I’m actually working now for the CAN/US distributor of Airwalk for Payless/etc. on some marketing materials and I can assure you there are no “4 stripe adi knockoffs” in the collection. I haven’t seen any of the Staple stuff though so can’t comment directly on that.

To put it bluntly, there is a place for everything, and such high ground cannot be assumed by I think any company, esp. those who have to answer to shareholders. Nike may not have cheapo air shoes in walmart, but they have Starter brand. Only thing different is a logo. Now those brand that knock others off are a different story (Sketchers group, i’m looking at you…).

In any brand/product there is always differences in distribution tiers and target markets. A XXX brand Tier 5 product may be the “lazy boy” of footwear/whatever, and the Tier 0 maybe the Droog edition. What differentiates these is only what appeals to the consumer- I would try to refrain from making judgements on good vs. bad accordingly…

that’s all for my rant for now, but indeed an interesting/heated discussion.

R

Has design made us all elitist?

You might be right, but I thought it was something else, it was done in a different studio.

No, I was elitist at a young age :wink:

If wanting to make the best is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

GURU are you confussed about what has happened?

This article does not mention anything about Jeff Staple abandoning his other work to become a “sell out” for airwalk.

This is what designers/design consultancies do. They are hired by a brand and make a collection/product line/product/graphic/etc.

I actually think this is pretty cool. If I were in Jeff Staples shoes I would think it would be pretty dope to work for a company like Airwalk for the opportunity for bringing hot sneakers to Payless…hmm…

Imagine people particluarly going to Payless to get the Jeff Staple Airwalk collection and skipping out on the latest Vans.

D.

GURU are you confussed about what has happened?

I’m not confused about what has happened. And yes… this is what designers/design consultancies do. I have done a lot of consultant work for ‘low tear’ brands but, It’s not for my portfolio… It’s for my bank account.

This discussion started when a hand full of designers and I went out to lunch. This staple article spawned a debate on how designers, atheletes and brands are making strang ‘bed’ fellows’ in the past year:::

Staple / Payless
Sean White / Target
etc…


Airwalk, I should also point out isn’t as bad as some here make it out to be. I’m actually working now for the CAN/US distributor of Airwalk for Payless/etc. on some marketing materials and I can assure you there are no “4 stripe adi knockoffs” in the collection.

Airwalk isn’t 'knocking off ’ anything. It’s Payless. They take other brands shoes patterns and just change out the logo. Check out their retail stores… It’s fun what you can find in there. Nike runners without the “Swoosh”, Converse 'Chucks" that use the same outsole (only they modify the mold to take out the logo), 4 striped Adidas and I’ve ever seen a 6 striped K-Swiss.

I just think he could have done better than Payless. It’s a reputation killer! Let’s compare it to a footwear designer trying to get a job after the work for Sketchers. Everyone just shakes their head when they leave the room… I Know… I’ve been in those rooms a few times.

I’ll leave you with this…

“The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue.”
Henry David Thoreau

you got it mixed up i think. Staple is working for Airwalk. Payless is just the distributor (even if an exclusive on at this point). There isn’t that much shame in working for Airwalk and I dunno how anyone could expect to have control over where their product sells… hell, they probably sell ipods and other decent stuff at walmart too…

R