WORLD OF PAUL FRANK
Rewind to 1995 - while pursuing an art degree at a local community college, Paul Frank asked his mom for a sewing machine. Paul quickly taught himself how to sew by making vinyl wallets and other small accessories designed for his friends. These gifts were adorned with his whimsical character designs like that of Julius the Monkey and Skurvy skull and crossbones. Through word of mouth, the demand for his handmade products grew rapidly, and soon after Paul Frank Industries was born.
Born out of the need for a fun outlet celebrating creativity and individuality in Southern California, Paul Frank Industries was formally incorporated in December of 1997. Paul Frank's artistic and entertaining designs were inspired by the art of the hand craft, mid-century modern design, music and pop culture. With its bright color palette and unique sensibilities, the company has attracted an almost cult-like following of all ages that love Paul Frank's witty take on every day objects.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
In addition to their nonconformist designs, Paul Frank pushed the envelope of unconventionality by establishing themselves primarily as an accessories company. That was not the norm for companies emerging from Southern California at the time. Once Paul Frank fine-tuned their vinyl wallets and like-mined accessories, they expanded into t-shirts and PJs, which became must-have items that solidified the brand's future. Several new divisions quickly followed: men's, women's and tween sportswear; Small Paul – a collection devoted to infants and toddlers; swimwear; eyewear; watches; bicycles; home furnishings, including children's furniture, amongst many others.
FROM WARHOL TO WEEZER
Art, music, architecture and entertainment inspired this young collective from day one and transcended them in to a pop-culture success. They stretched the boundaries of their Southern California suburbs designing guitar straps for The White Stripes, Foo Fighters and Weezer (just to mention a few!), to special edition t-shirts for Coachella. Artistic inspirations ranged from classic contemporary furniture designers like Eames and Saarinen to abstract sculptor and inventor of the mobile Alexander Calder, to the infamous pop artist Andy Warhol.
In the past 15 years, Paul Frank has partnered creatively with artists Shepard Fairey, Shag, Mark Ryden, Thomas Campbell and The Andy Warhol Foundation. They also have worked closely with youth-oriented companies Sanrio, Nirve, Vans, The Elvis Presley Foundation and LEGO; as well as legendary American businesses John Deere, Mattel, Dr. Scholl’s and Oscar Meyer. The company’s collaboration program produced highly collectable items pre-sold before they hit stores and never reproduced.
Today, Paul Frank sells its products to a diverse group of retailers ranging from small boutiques to major department stores. The company's success in the US has allowed them to grow internationally with stores all over the world from China to Slovakia and even the Dominican Republic.
The world of Paul Frank wouldn't be complete without the world-famous characters such as Julius, Skurvy and Worry Bear! Check out the characters page to learn more about some of our favorite friends. And remember to never grow up!