You’ve grown up — and your backpacks have, too.
Sprayground has made itself known in the streetwear community with extravagant backpacks that often pack in the fandom flavor. Recently, the brand has driven into candy land, collaborating with Hershey’s Chocolate and Jolly Ranchers. The company has also created accessories — that often sell out within minutes — based on a wide variety of fandoms, including Rick and Morty, Dragon Ball Z, Call of Duty, and more. Each often incorporates the company’s iconic shark bite motif and wild designs.
We spoke with the founder of Sprayground, David BenDavid, to see if there’s a method to the madness of creating these unique looks. Spoiler alert: there kind of is!
The Pop Insider: Your website lists expressing rebellion, individuality, and creativity as the foundations of Sprayground. In your opinion, why are these important?
David BenDavid: I have always been into turning the mundane into the insane. I think that everyone expresses themselves in their own way, whether it’s through music, fashion, painting, drawing, writing, etc. I want Sprayground to be that vehicle for those who crave creative liberation and love to push boundaries. That’s why all of our pieces are limited edition and never reproduced again because we want people to embrace that uniqueness we instill in everything we create.
PI: How has Sprayground evolved since it was established in 2010?
DBD: Sprayground is always changing, we never look back and we are always thinking about what is next. When I released my first backpack “Hello My Name Is” and I saw the impact that that bag had in streetwear culture, I knew I was on the right track with the creative vision I had in mind. Then, when we released the Money Stacks backpack, it was just a divine confirmation. Now, we have expanded to other categories like ready-to-wear, luggage, footwear, gaming chairs, and more, and we don’t plan to stop there. We have more exciting surprises coming!
PI: Sprayground has collaborated with a number of popular brands, do you have a favorite collab you’ve worked on?
DBD: Every collaboration is unique in its own way; when we work with a certain brand or celebrity, we always make sure that the collection perfectly translates what we both envision, it’s a very fun process to design a collaboration from zero. From choosing the colors, textures, patterns, to planning out the campaign and the marketing behind it. I cannot pick a favorite because they are all unique and different.
PI: What is the design process like for the licensed collabs? How does it go from idea to reality?
DBD: We like to take pride in the fact that we are rule breakers, we don’t follow guidelines. For example, when we started working with Nickelodeon and SpongeBob, they sent us some design guidelines we needed to follow, but we told them right away that we were going to do this the Sprayground way or it wasn’t happening. We gave SpongeBob a crazy shark mouth and created lots of insane designs that quickly became fan favorites and sold out within minutes. SpongeBob’s creator gave us his blessing, something that he had never done before to any other fashion brand — I think that was pretty epic!
PI: What has the reaction been like to the new Jolly Ranchers collaboration? How does working with a confectionery brand differ from working with an established character’s brand (SpongeBob for example)?
DBD: Working with Jolly Rancher has been super fun, it’s such an iconic candy brand, so it took some time to create something that felt right for both Sprayground and Jolly Rancher, and the result is just mesmerizing. For me, there isn’t much difference between working with a candy brand and an established character like SpongeBob; each brand has its own market and fan base, so you just have to pay close attention to what you want to highlight and celebrate with your collaboration, it’s always about thinking outside the box!
PI: Do you have a dream collab that you’d love to work on?
DBD: Of course! I love Tom Ford, Lamborghini, and Boeing. I have some crazy ideas in my mind that I wish I could share with you, but they are top secret!
PI: What can fans expect from Sprayground in the future?
DBD: We have a lot of surprises in the works! We just opened our biggest pop-up ever in Times Square — we are going to be open for a month. We are also preparing an amazing fashion show for [New York Fashion Week] this year. We will be releasing a book and footwear very soon, so keep an eye out!