The Nike Dunk was a popular sneaker long before 2005 but the mid-2000’s was probably the peak of its popularity due to being an integral part of the Nike SB catalog. The Dunk craze was already on full tilt in some areas of the world but on February 22nd, 2005, thanks in part to a special limited pair with a “Pigeon” embroidered onto it’s heel, the worldwide sneaker culture was forever changed.
Nike SB had created a special Dunk Low Pro as part of their White Dunk exhibit for four influential cities of the world; Tokyo, London, Paris and New York. For the city that never sleeps, Jeff Staple of Staple Design and Reed Space was called upon to design the special Dunk. Hailing from New York, he decided to bring to focus an animal that represents the city, good or bad, the pigeon. The sneaker was created using the colors of the bird as well as the addition of an embroidered patch on the heel. It’s a simple formula, but one that has proven to be popular and a “staple” of his sneaker designs.
Dunk Low Pro SB Pigeon uploaded by Mongol
Only a select few locations sold the sneakers including Staple’s own shop Reed Space. For the thirty pair that they had, Reed Space had each pair specially lasered with the Staple Design logo as well as individually numbered. As Jeff Staple left his shop the night before the release, he guessed about 20 people were in line, some camping out for about 4 days. But come morning everything changed. Staple was welcomed by over 150 people there for the sneaker release, along with the New York Police Department wondering what was going on. The ruckus crowd was on the verge of starting a riot. It escalated so much that each lucky person who got a pair had the police escort them to the rear exit of the shop to a waiting cab for a safe ride home. This was deemed a smart move as later in the day machetes and baseball bats were found in spots the crowds were.
Making the front page of the New York post and news around the world brought the sneaker release in front of those who were not aware of the sneaker culture. Even Staple himself admits the design “was nothing super innovative, but the mythology really carries it forward.” Still a highly sought after sneaker, what are your thoughts on the “Pigeon” Dunk?