Jeff Staple’s Nike SB ‘Panda Pigeon’ Collab Started as a Rejected Sample

Jeff Staple’s “Panda Pigeon” Nike Dunk SB Low almost didn’t happen.

Ahead of its Saturday release date, the legendary designer and SnkrInc put together an animated short, narrated by Staple, covering how the sneaker came about.

Staple said it started by showing off rejected samples during the making of the “Black Pigeon” Nike Dunk SB Low on social media while moving offices at the end of 2017. One of the looks was what would become the “Panda Pigeon.”

Sneaker websites, according to Staple, started immediately posting stories about the black and white shoe after he shared it on Instagram with a simple caption boasting a panda and a pigeon emoji.

“I get a call from Nike, and they’re like, ‘Dude, everyone in Beaverton [Ore.] is in an uproar over this post that you did,'” Staple said.

The designer explained he thought execs at the Swoosh were mad at the post. Instead, they were pleased and wanted to do something with the shoe. Prior to this, there were no plans to release this iteration.

“If I wasn’t just cleaning out my office and I wasn’t just randomly taking photos of stuff, this would not be born,” Staple says in the video.

Staple said the sneaker is a nod to both his Chinese heritage, with the panda serving as the unofficial mascot of China, and New York City, symbolized by the pigeon imagery.

The sample of the “Panda Pigeon” is different than the one hitting stores, boasting a solid black midsole and outsole rather than the retail-ready translucent outsole with newspaper clips from the first “Pigeon” Nike Dunk SB Low release in 2005.

The Staple x Nike Dunk SB Low “Panda Pigeon” drops Saturday on the NTWRK app starting at 5 p.m. PT. The sneakers, according to NTWRK, will retail for $100.

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