And before that, the tents.
This summer, designer and artist Stephen Sprouse will apply his graffiti-inspired, rock ‘n’ roll sensibility toward a Fourth of July theme, strumming up a line of clothing, accessories, home products and sports gear sold exclusively at Target. Dubbed “Americaland,” the result is not surprisingly strong on the red, white and blue, and features lots of stars, stripes and interpretations of Old Glory.
The first glimpse of the patriotic collection will be given at Fashion Week, as the facade of the Bryant Park tent has been emblazoned with Sprouse’s bold images of stars and stripes.
“I really like high fashion and mass [merchandise] and in a funny way, they’re similar,” said Sprouse, in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “You can have a lot of freedom at the expensive level and also at the teenage level because they look good in everything. It’s the middle ground I’m not that interested in.”
While the line embraces Americana — something that is in vogue since Sept. 11, Sprouse had actually completed the project last August. His friend, makeup artist Sonia Kashuk, who does a line for the retailer, made the initial introduction.
“Sonia called me last winter and asked if I was free after the Louis Vuitton thing and put my name up and they called me, so it was great,” said Sprouse, who designed a limited edition line of handbags and luggage for Vuitton’s spring collection. “Both [Target and Vuitton] are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but the projects weren’t all that different. Both are huge companies and have everything at their fingertips. The designs are kind of similar in a funny way.”
The splashy collection runs the gamut from boot-cut jeans and stretch twill mini-dresses to Frisbees and beach towels. Sprouse pointed to the flip-flop sandals, thigh-high ninja socks, swimsuits and wakeboard shorts as among his favorite items.
“I like designing men’s and women’s at the same time because they inspire each other,” said Sprouse, whose last apparel collection took place in winter 2000, saying the Target line isn’t completely different from his former ready-to-wear line. “I’ve always done T-shirts and miniskirts and jeans.”
The line will be available from May through August at Target and on the store’s Web site.
Sprouse’s work with Target represents the latest partnership for the store. In addition to Kashuk, collaborations have included designer Mossimo Giannulli, on a full line of apparel, and home merchandise lines with designers Todd Oldham and Phillippe Starck, and architect Michael Graves.