When Nike approached Jeff Ng, aka Jeff Staple, to design a limited-edition sneaker in honor of New York City as part of the Art of the Dunk series, he decided to use the ubiquitous pigeon as his inspiration. Although images of the shoe were not available prior to the drop date, the buzz around the sneaker was huge, with hundreds of people lining up outside of Staple’s store, Reed Space, to await the release.
On February 22, 2005, the day of the release, pandemonium reigned, as there were only thirty pairs of sneakers to sell. Staple reported bats, knives, and a machete in the crowd, and so to ensure safety, the NYPD arranged cars for all of the customers who purchased shoes and then escorted them out the back door. The ensuing riot made the news, reviving mainstream concerns about sneaker culture and violence. Today, the original Nike x Staple Design Dunk Low Pro SB Pigeon remains one of the most sought-after sneakers.