A Backpack Pop-Up Draws Adults Looking for Fashionable Collectibles
Sprayground’s colorful, limited-edition bags have become a back-to-school status symbol, and not just for sixth-graders.
Just hours before 18-year-old Jordy Morales was planning to leave for training to become a Marine, he’s at Sprayground’s pop-up shop in New York’s Times Square to pick up a limited-edition backpack.
Morales has put money from babysitting or handyman jobs toward a new backpack whenever he can. “I’d save up and try to get it as quickly as possible,” he says. Today, he’s holding a $120 backpack featuring a stitched collage of the brand’s top-selling designs. It’s on display as the final 10 of a 100-bag run.
On Aug. 14, cult backpack maker Sprayground opened its biggest pop-up shop ever in New York City. It features over 100 designs in its back-to-school collection, as well as more exclusive options featuring characters such as SpongeBob, Samurai Jack, and the Powerpuff Girls. The most recognizable ones have a shark mouth and eyes along the back and side, while some are shaped like teddy bears.
He’d traveled from Philadelphia with some friends, including Myaia Fletcher, who has collected more than 100 Sprayground bags and estimates that she has spent more than $10,000 on them. Fletcher is now the brand’s official ambassador.
“I want kids going back to school—and the grown-up traveling—to feel unique,” Ben-David says. “Everybody wants to feel that individuality, because they don’t want a bag that everybody else has. Everything we make is limited edition and never produced again. So I think that also is kind of our secret sauce.”
The New York pop-up will be open until Sept. 5, followed by a runway show on on Sept. 8 during New York Fashion Week. The next pop-up shop is scheduled to open in Miami in December.