Stephen Sprouse Mania!: 2009 Brings Retrospective, Book, Website, and New Louis Vuitton Collection


Remember those wildly popular handbags scrawled with “Louis Vuitton” in the distinctive graffiti of Stephen Sprouse? They’re back and better than ever, nine years after Marc Jacobs first risked tweaking the famed LV logo (good move). An expanded collection of Vuitton apparel and accessories adorned with the signatures of the late artist, who died of lung cancer in 2004, arrives in stores Friday, the day after a retrospective exhibition of Sprouse’s work opens at Deitch Projects in New York City. In addition to paintings, the show will include Sprouse-designed fashion ensembles and fabrics, video works made to accompany his runway shows, and furniture designs.

sprouse book.gifAnd there’s more Sprouse where that came from: later this month, Rizzoli releases The Stephen Sprouse Book. Written by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha (huge collectors of Sprouse’s work) with a foreword by novelist Tama Janowitz, the book is available with four different Day-Glo dust jackets inspired by the album cover Sprouse designed in 1986 for Debbie Harry‘s Rockbird.

Even if you can’t be bothered to read about Sprouse, visit the exhibition, or tie on a silk scarf with a print of the Xerox-degraded roses he favored, you can point your browser toward the new “We Love Stephen Sprouse” website, developed by Vuitton in collaboration with Deitch Projects and Rizzoli. Turn on a virtual boombox loaded with a Sprouse-worthy playlist (including the Santogold hits that runway DJs couldn’t get enough of last fashion week), watch ultra-slickly produced videos of friends like Jacobs, the Padilhas, Patricia Field, and Candy Pratts Price sharing their memories of the artist, or go all Web 2.0 and “scrawl the wall,” submitting your own message about Sprouse.