It wasn’t coincidence that long lines for the Jeff Staple-designed Nike SB Dunk Low “Black Pigeon” caused the NYPD to shut down the campout 12 hours before the slated release of the sneaker; it was just meant to be. After all, the myth and lure of the original “Pigeon” Dunk — and the riot it caused in the Lower East Side at 151 Orchard Street on February 22, 2005 — still hold a special place in the history of sneaker culture.
This time around, the scene outside of the one day Reed Space pop-up hosted by Extra Butter at 125 Orchard Street was in simplest terms: organized chaos. Hoards of sneaker enthusiasts, resellers and people wanting to partake in the moment of nostalgia were given bracelets with a number, starting at 6 a.m. EST, alongside NYPD officers and Nike security who controlled the lines and barricades. To Jeff’s credit, he alerted the police ahead of time for the release to avoid having pandemonium break out and people pulling out weapons the way they did over a decade ago.
The pop-up itself took place inside of a small space with merchandise hung on green scaffolding emanating a Reed Space “under construction” feel with nods to the old space hidden behind peepholes. Customers were given a slip to write their name and size of the merch and sneaker. Exiting the pop-up space, guests were welcomed into the recently renovated Extra Butter space with vibrant white walls and ample lighting full of velvet curtains and old-school theater seats. Proceeding to checkout, the first few lucky customers — who admitted that they’re flipping the kicks — were surprised with laser-etched editions of the “Black Pigeon” with “LES 022205.110717” to commemorate the dates of both drops. Some people even managed to get a Jeff Staple co-sign in Sharpie on the sneakers and boxes, while he himself donned an exclusive fragment design-embossed edition of the shoe that is not available to anyone else.
Celebrating 15 years of Nike SB legacy and 20 years of Staple Design, the pop-up for the Nike SB Dunk Low “Black Pigeon” not only brought out the young but also a lot of older folks. It reminds us that the culture has no age limit, that people can learn from their mistakes and grow up, and that even after 12 years, a pigeon logo on a sneaker can still cause mass hysteria.
For those who were unable to get their pair in New York, there is a wider release set for November 11. Stay tuned for more details on how to purchase as the date draws near.