T-Files 004: jeffstaple

I got in touch with jeffstaple, the founder and Creative Director of Staple Design studio, head honcho for the Staple clothing brand, and owner of The Reed Space and Reed Annex art/retail spaces in the Lower East Side, NYC, for a few quick questions. If you don’t already know, jeffstaple is a talented workaholic who has an amazing knack for combining creativity and high design concepts with all-important commercial viability. Who else could build an empire of collaborations starring a pigeon and an entirely realistic bird poo print? It was very nice of him to take the time to answer a few questions while en route to Japan, and now I’m one stage closer to trying to figure out what the hell Twitter is for.

Where are you today? Right now, I’m somewhere over Alaska. I’m flying from NYC to Japan. I like answering interviews on 14 hour flights.

What are you working on? The other thing I like about 14 hour flights is the amount of work AND sleep you can catch up on. It’s pretty much the most productive environment for me to be in. So right I’m catching up on emails, correspondence, etc…not really designing on a plane. That’s still kind of tough.

Can you describe your favorite recent design/product? Well if you’re talking about something that we produced, I’m excited about the Converse that we have coming out in Feb. It’s something really different that most people wouldn’t expect from Converse or Staple. So we’ve been working on that for a while now and it’s good to finally see it come to fruition.

Anything inspiring you’ve seen from another brand/designer lately? I recently stumbled upon something in my local Duane Reade pharmacy. It’s a brand called ACE. Basically it’s mens grooming products, like nail clippers, shaving mirrors and tweezers, but packaged and branded to look like hardcore Craftsman-style tools. I think it’s genius. It gives a manly-man confidence to buy grooming tools and he doesn’t have to feel all metrosexual in the process. It sold me. I bought a bunch of stuff and all the products work incredibly great. Like, light years better beyond what any other companies are putting out. So the branding is spot on, but the product functions superbly as well. That’s the right combination.

Where else have you been finding inspiration recently? I still find inspiration in travel and music. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of those 2 things in my life.

What is slowing down your productivity lately? It’s kind of tough to say. There are definitely parts of my job that I find annoying, and hence, feel are unproductive to what I maybe SHOULD be doing, which is design. But then again, I think; this is all my business. I created everything. So I really can’t complain about any meetings, or conference calls, or other annoying tasks I have to do. I made this bed, now I gotta sleep in it.

Any exciting travel plans for ‘09? I’m hoping to get a lot of riding in for 09. Brenckenridge, Aspen, Hokkaido and Tremblent are all on my radar for the winter. I’m really lucky because my business travels take me to China, HK, Tokyo, LA, Barcelona, Vegas on a regular basis, so I’m visiting dope places I’d want to vacation in anyway.

Favorite font of the moment? Hmmm, that’s tough. But I’m really into GOTHAM right now. It’s the font of our new president. Can’t really get any better than that. I love it, but I won’t ever use it. I feel like it’s Obama’s and there should be a law against using it.

Most hated typeface? I still hate Crackhouse. It hasn’t been used in a while from it’s heyday in the hip-hop world, but I’ve seen it creep up back up recently and it still reeks.

Anything else you’d like to rant about/speak on? Twitter is the new crystal meth. www.twitter.com/jeffstaple

You can follow him as he jetsets around the globe and executes incredible projects, on his excellent blog: To Darrin Hudson.

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