David Ben-David of Sprayground Speaks On Success, Creative Process and More
“All of my life I was a horrible student. I always carried a bag with me, I loved backpacks. I was looking in the bag market and I didnt like really anything. Then it hit me, maybe there should be some spice in this category.”
David Ben-David, may not have been the best student in high school, but only because maybe he wasn't studying the right things. In a couple years since the creation of his Sprayground line, DBD has turned a once bland bag market into one with his colorful creations that captivate consumers across the globe—including the likes of Lil Wayne, Gunplay, Chris Brown and more.
Speaking with XXL “The Good Life,” DBD discusses his collaborations with Mishka, working with Trinidad Jame$, the creative process behind his bags and more.—Christian Mordi (@mordi_thecomeup)
XXL: What is Sprayground?
David Ben-David: Sprayground is a company that has changed the way the bag business has been formulated. Really revolutionizing what Jansport and North Face has been doing. We put unique concepts on the bags and transform them.
When was Sprayground created?
We are two years old.
When did you know you wanted to make fashion a profession?
All of my life I was a horrible student. I was always doodling during class. I went to art school and was interested in product and graphic design. I liked industrial designs, like three dimensional type of things. I always carried a bag with me, I loved backpacks. I was looking in the bag market and I didn’t like really anything. Then it hit me, maybe there should be some spice in this category.
Sprayground is an exclusive lifestyle brand that makes deluxe backpacks and accessories. You guys provide a solution for the fashion savvy person who relies on a comfortable bag. Is this your niche in the game: Style and comfort?
Fashion and functionality are two important things to building this brand. The most exciting thing is everything is very sleek looking. The laptop spot, hidden stash spot, all these really dope minor details. At first you get drawn into the design of the bag, but when you open it up the bag goes to another level.
How important is staying hip to the trends from a clothing perspective to your brand. I see you guys integrate a lot of popular style patterns right now, like camo for instance.
Personally when I create I don’t focus too much on what is trending. I feel like to a certain extent camouflage has always been in, but I am not just going to slap it on a bag with a shark mouth on it. When the company was started we just had the one “Hello My Name Is,” bag. It wasn’t really in, but it showed things in a new light. Same things with the money stacks bag. That propelled the brand to another level. We are inspired by the streets and elements of hip-hop, and we work from a different angle that makes it look fresh.
Do you consider yourself a trendsetter?
I don’t know, that is a pretty powerful statement. People who have been wearing the brand, may feel like it though. I have been knocked off a couple times, so I guess I have been doing something right.
Tell us a little bit about your collaboration with Mishka, and why you decided to work with that brand.
The thing about Mishka is their whole style is very pigeon holed in a way that the customers are very hardcore to that brand. They do things very unique and different, they are the only ones doing that crazy, gore, mutant-type of designs. We on the other hand are doing something totally different in the bag world. I think that's why it meshed well together. We are currently working on another round of bags now to drop this summer.
How important is it to your movement to remain affordable to your fans, yet you still make a nice profit.
It is very easy to price these things at 200 dollars, but we would sell just a few. To me its very important to have price, function and design. You got those three than you have a winner.
2 Chainz, Justin Beiber, 50 Cent, Chris Brown, Trinidad Jame$ and more have been seen with your bags. Why do you feel it resonates with these big time artists so much?
Chris Brown is known to wear bags and the reason he loves the brand so much because it is finally something fresh in the bag world. These people are also fearless with their fashion. Not everyone can wear a money stacks bag. When do do wear it, you feel bad ass. These people want that, they want to feel bad ass. Like with Lil Wayne with the gumball bag that he just wore on Nicki Minaj VH1 show. I didn’t intend for that to happen, I didn’t see that, but he is fearless with his fashion.
You guys also have Sprayground TV. Tell us a little bit about that, and how important is it to you to add a visual element of people in “live real time” rocking your products.
It takes the brand to another level in regards to seeing the product live on a person and how they interact with the brand opposed to a picture. It is very easy to sell a t-shirt or hat, but from a branding standpoint to show how bags interact with a person is so much better for us.
Tell us a little bit about your next collection?
Well we did a very small run awhile back of our galaxy bag, and every time we post a instagram pic up the fans are like “where are the galaxy bags, we need more!” So we will be offering it in three different bag silhouettes. We will also be offering our last “Hello My Name Is,” bag. Reversed, red-leopard, really sexy. We also have this leather bag, that matches the Air Yeezy shoes. Leather backpack and a duffel in a box, 300 dollars, only 300 ever made. It was also glow in the dark, gold emblems, really nice.
How do you gauge success?
Seeing how far the brand has gone internationally excites me. Recently I flew to London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and everywhere I went I saw people wearing the bags. It was fascinating. It's really special.