The Sprouse Refresher

Stephen might be long gone, but a new collection with Louis Vuitton means he’s on the tip of every thirty-something fashionistas tongue.  Here are some fun facts to hold your own during history lessons.

HE WAS LUXURY – Stephen Sprouse pioneered the 80s “uptown sophisticate meets downtown punk” look. His signature collection was designed using pricey, custom-dyed fabrics in Day-Glo bright colors and graffiti that Sprouse personally added to his garments. 


HE FAILED, OCCASIONALLY - His over the top collections were sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel. Unfortunately, he couldn’t convince enough upper east siders to drop down the capital for his goodies and he declared bankruptcy in 1985. In 1988, he lost funding and almost completely shut down when his backer decided to cut ties with the designer.  Patricia Fields was at his big closeout sale. She grabbed dozens of pieces and sold them at her Bowery store to all the hungry kiddies. 


HE WAS A WARHOLIAC – Andy Warhol, a friend of Sprouse, was buried in one of the designers suits. Sprouse transformed Andy’s “Factory” into his own little showroom. Sprouse was one of the first designer to incorporate Andy Warhol into his work, using his famous Camouflage print in his 1987-1988 collections.


HE CHANGED SOHO – In 1987, Sprouse found some financial banking and was the first designer to opened up a full-scale emporium in Soho.  His move completely changed the shopping scene in the area.  Debbie Harry performed for a crowd of hundreds of Stephen’s closest friends at the opening.


HE LOVED HARING - Sprouse collaborated with Keith Haring to create several abstract prints of Jesus with graffiti. The prints became textiles for his Fall 1988 collection.


HE MADE VELCRO COUTURE – In 1992, he produced an exclusive, 32 piece line for Bergdorf’s called “CyberPunk” which used velcro instead of buttons.  The cheapest item was a pair of mens underwear which retailed for $500 bucks. 


HE TOOK ON ROCK AND ROLL – In 1995 Sprouse served as costume curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  He designed the staff’s uniforms. 


HE WAS ALWAYS ON TARGET - In 2002, Sprouse created an exclusive line for Target, ushering in the Go International collection and changing the way fashion types looked at big box retailers forever. 


HE’S LOVED BY MARC - Marc Jacobs collaborated with Sprouse in 2001 for a collection of graffiti logo bags for Louis Vuitton. The pieces sold-out instantly. In 2006, Marc incorporated Sprouse’s 1887 graffiti leopard images into his handbags, shoes, and scares, which once again sold-out instantly. In 2009, a new line of Sprouse inspired pieces will hit the sheles of Louis Vuitton, expect them to once again, sell-out instantly…


The Sprouse Refresher

Want a little more Sprouse?  Louis Vuitton just launched their We Love Sprouse site (pictured above) in celebration of their new collection inspired by the late designer. On the site you can check out exclusive interviews from Sprouse fans like Marc Jacobs and Debbie Harry and scrawl your own graffiti on their Sprouse wall.  Head to to check it out today.