Jeff Staple manages to pull off being a well-established and cutting-edge figure in the world of streetwear and youth culture, which is no easy feat. The man whose collaboration with Nike on a Dunk sneaker with a pigeon on it sparked a riot in 2005 and showed a mass audience how big this underground cultural phenomenon had become continues to evolve and expand his stable of designs and projects.
What started off with a simple order for 12 T-shirts in 1997 has grown into a globally recognized brand that touches everything from fashion and design to branding and education. Born Jeff Ng, Staple now oversees his eponymous clothing label, a creative consultancy that works with clients such as Nike and Microsoft, and his Reed Space boutique in New York City’s Lower East Side that houses a well-curated collection of streetwear, books, and accessories and also doubles as an art gallery.
With such a diverse background, Staple was the perfect person to launch our new series 10 Commandments of Style. The idea behind the column is to give guys practical advice that they can use in a manner that is anything but precious. Enjoy.
1) Thou shall not allow one’s shoe or sneaker obsession to endanger their family or next of kin. Please limit thy collection to under 1000 pairs.
2) Thou shall value their shoe collection by keeping them in their original boxes and care for them using only Jason Markk cleaning products.
3) With regards to timepieces, thou shall understand when is the right situation to wear a Rolex, a Swatch or to wear no watch at all. Know when to say when.
4) Thou shall adhere to the rules of your favorite piece of denim. Know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to wash. Know when to not.
5) Thou shall not spend more time in the bathroom getting ready than their female counterparts. Appearance is key, but never forget, thou are still a man.
6) On the subject of hygiene: Deodorant at all times, gentlemen. Brush thy tongue on the regular. And floss daily—literally and figuratively.
7) On the further subject of hygiene—do not apply so much fragrant product to thyself that it causes allergic reactions to your fellow neighbors. Chill on the Axe, yo.
8) Without fail—FUNCTIONality over FORMality. Tis important to look good, but nothing is less appealing than a man who cannot handle the elements Mother Nature may throw at him.
9) Keep it real with thyself. Study trends in order to incorporate them in your own personal style. But don’t look like you literally stepped out of a fashion shoot. (See Book of Revelations: Fuccboi.)
10) And finally, you shall appreciate the process. Understand that fashion and style is an ART FORM—and in order to have mastery of this art form—one must first appreciate the artisans that are behind it.