Being comfortable with our identities and where we come from plays a major role in navigating our adult life. Some people are very comfortable with their upbringing and childhood while others are not. As we grow into adults, our perspective changes and we learn to appreciate some of the things about our upbringing that we may not have as children. Legendary Sneaker and Streetwear industry expert Jeff Staple recently sat down with Claima Stories x Bimma Williams to discuss what life was like for him.
Growing up in an Asian-American family from New Jersey had a significant impact on Staple. He spoke openly with Bimma about his Asian upbringing, identity crisis, and difficulties meeting his parent’s expectations as an Asian-American. Most people are not willing to give both sides of their success story but Staple is hoping his journey motivates and influences others. He was a two-time college dropout but still managed to find success and legendary status in both the streetwear and sneaker industries. He is the legend behind the iconic Staple Pigeon Dunk, which will forever be part of sneaker culture history.
Claims Stories podcast is a conversation platform that is meant to inspire and motivate others. In this rare conversation with Jeff Staple, Claim Stories provides both professional and personal insight into navigating a career and overcoming racism and self-doubt. The podcast was designed to help BIPOC creative youth by sharing intimate life and career details with some of the industry’s creative elite. Along with Jeff Staple, James Whitner, Melody Ehsani and Elise Swopes have all added their stories to the Claima archives. Jeff Staple’s episode is live and can be heard here and on Apple Podcast.
“Part of the whole thing growing up in Jersey was a massive identity crisis. Of being straight up ashamed and I don’t use that word lightly, like being embarrassed and ashamed of who I was because of the ridicule. So when I would come home from school and my house would smell like Chinese food and my family would be screaming at each other in Chinese, there would be a Buddha at the front and there would be burning incense. All these things that I find beautiful about my culture today, I was so avidly embarrassed about it. That’s graffiti to me…” – Jeff Staple