an exceedingly rare picture of Lisa Frank had been unearthed and posted to a fan's Tumblr blog. So far as anyone is able to determine, this is one of only two pictures of Lisa Frank in public existence.
I have to admit, I felt some trepidation as I clicked the link to look at her picture. I had never wondered what Lisa Frank looked like, but suddenly I didn't want to have my illusions shattered. How, I couldn't tell you.
But whatever ideas you might have had about Lisa Frank, I think we can all agree: yes, that is the correct sweater!
Lisa Frank began her company in 1979, and rose to prominence in the 1980s with the fad for collecting stickers. Her vivid, rainbow colored artwork perfectly suited the Day-Glo 1980s, and what girl of any age doesn't love some unicorns and baby leopards and dolphins?
Soon, the Lisa Frank empire had grown to include school supplies (pencils, Trapper Keepers, notepads and more) and was creeping out to take over the rest of the house. It became a lifestyle brand in the 1990s, and even if I was too old to properly enjoy it, I still had to admit that secretly I was just jealous.
I imagine every school in the 1990s had one girl who was "the Lisa Frank girl." There's one in every school, the girl who begs her parents to buy everything Lisa Frank, from her shoelaces to her hair scrunchie. The girl who saves up all of her birthday money to buy a special Lisa Frank collectible. I never wanted to be that girl, but I totally understood it.
Lisa Frank's work is beyond cheerful. It depicts a world where everything is ablaze with color. There are no grays or drab browns in Lisa Frank's world. It's nothing but happy, all year round. It's like Disney World in its relentless portrayal of life without any bad side. No divorced parents, no boyfriends who treat you badly, no mean girls who insult you in front of the whole class. Just a brilliantly colored fantasy world where nothing ever goes wrong. What's not to like?
Lisa Frank means a lot to many girls (and girls who are now women). Which is more than you can say for most stationery companies, I would bet. I only regret that, as an overweight woman pushing 40, there's really no way I can successfully rock a Lisa Frank backpack in public.