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“Lisa Frank On Lisa Frank”


CM: It is crazy to think about because you have such variety. I was looking through a stack of sticker books and every single one was different with a variation of designs inside.

LF: But that’s why we’re so hot still today. There are some companies that have been hot forever but all of a sudden are dead right now. The same image has been plastered on hundreds and hundreds of products but the consumers are not stupid.

Also believe it or not, the consumers with less money have a keener eye than the ones with more. Consumers with less money only have so much to spend. For this reason they are critical and want to buy the best of the best. I’ve always appealed to the masses because, I felt so lucky to grow up in a beautiful world, and believe just because someone has less money, why should they not be offered the best of the best, as well?

I’m always fascinated by a big reveal; it’s the most childish part of my otherwise very mature and adult personality, colored, I think, by the “man behind the curtain” twist in The Wizard of Oz. I love finding out there was only one person pulling those strings! Or, alternatively, omg, there were like 100 people pulling those strings!! Businesses and public personas and celebrities always seem like brick walls and I always want to peek over and be like, Oh, that’s what it takes to make this work? Cool.

Like Sweet Valley High, The Babysitter’s Club, and other beloved media properties of my childhood, I assumed Lisa Frank was perhaps once a real person who had since been turned into a prop to speak on behalf of some mass conglomerate profiting from a combination of childish whimsy and inscrutable nostalgia. I mean, half of that is right; the company’s labor issues have been well-documented and the brand was experiencing a serious decline pretty recently. The name has become a lot more than just the human being it originated from. But there was and still is a very real Lisa Frank pulling those strings. For Foundations, Carly Mark talks to Lisa Frank about her art: her education, her process, her inspirations. It has all the good and bad elements that make peeking behind a curtain so tempting. Read the whole piece here.

h/t Adrian Chen.

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