Hello Friend: Q&A with Jeff Staple, founder and creative director of STAPLE

Hello Friends, we're excited to share with you the supercute STAPLE x Hello Kitty collection. But first, meet Jeff Staple! The founder and creative director of STAPLE. Find out his inspiration for the collection and more.

And don't forget to check out the collection and shop the exclusives here. 

Hello Jeff, can you tell us about yourself and what you do. 

Hi! I am the founder and creative director or STAPLE! We’re one of the original OG streetwear brands hailing from NYC. I started the brand right out of art school back in 1997.

What was your inspiration for the STAPLE x Hello Kitty collection?

Growing up, and of course being of Asian descent, Sanrio and Hello Kitty always meant so much to me. So to now have the opportunity to collaborate with them with my own brand?! That’s like a dream come true. My goal with the collection was to integrate both brands together. My brand’s mascot is a Pigeon so when designing this collection, I was envisioning a world where Hello Kitty & Pigeon would be best friends. 

Which piece from the collection is your favorite?

Hard to say! They’re all my favs. But maybe the ones I’m most proud of are the ones with Tiger Camo. Those to me are the perfect blend of Sanrio, Staple and Street Culture.

In celebration of Sanrio’s 60th, who is your favorite Sanrio character?

Obviously you can’t deny the star power of Hello Kitty; but my low key favorite character is Bad Badtz-Maru. I love his mischief and the many expressions he can have. Bad Badtz-Maru is just authentic to me because that’s how life is — Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s not so good.

Any advice for young entrepreneurs looking to work in streetwear/fashion? 

I know it might sound cliche, but I always tell young creatives to first take the time to figure out what they love to do most. Because once you discover that, you’ll have no problem dedicating the hours to it that are ultimately what’s required for you to succeed as an entrepreneur!