If all goes as planned, January will be Stephen Sprouse month as the art, publishing and luxury worlds combine to pay tribute to the late designer. While lasting commercial success sadly eluded Sprouse, he has become an admired cult figure among the fashion crowd and especially with collectors who covet his increasingly rare original pieces.
Deitch Projects will open a Sprouse retrospective called "Rock On Mars" on Jan. 8 at its Wooster Street gallery and Rizzoli will publish "The Stephen Sprouse Book" shortly thereafter. Joining in the fun, and likely to garner the most attention, Louis Vuitton will be revisiting its 2001 collaboration with the designer with new versions of the graffiti monogram he designed as well as a signature day-glo rose motif that will adorn bags, shoes and a special capsule apparel collection that will all be available on January 9th.
The special collection was suggested by the gallery, and Vuitton will not be reissuing the original collaboration pieces, but offering new variations in a similar vein. “I tried to take what Stephen had done at Vuitton and then kind of flip it in my head, and make it Vuitton’s work for Stephen, not Stephen’s work for Vuitton,” creative director Marc Jacobs tells WWD, “I just felt it was a funny way to play with it, to pretend to be Sprouse for a bit, and use the work that he did, and then bring it back to the work that he did before I collaborated with him.” With Sprouse's heyday, the 1980's, an increasingly influential touchstone for the fashion world, a visit with the designer's colorful, rock-influenced aesthetic should be a welcome and timely distraction for our suddenly gloomy times.
To further promote the event, Jacobs has been photographed by Terry Richardson for Harper's Bazaar in his favorite outfit- nothing, of course- strategically carrying a Sprouse/Vuitton duffel, keeping the image publishable in a major national magazine.
Vuitton Brings Back Sprouse (WWD)
Marc Jacobs Exposes The Latest It Bag (Harper's Bazaar)