What ever happened to Lisa Frank

Story by Anna Soldner

Remember the girl who reigned queen in elementary school? She was trendy, fun and all the teenyboppers wanted a taste of her popularity. Her signature was etched into the backs of notebooks and echoed throughout hallways. This chick was crazy cool.

In the ’90s, it was Lisa Frank.

For those unfamiliar with Lisa Frank (where were you?), she is the artist and founder behind all the colorful, psychedelic school supplies, stickers, toys and stationery that were primarily marketed to and wildly popular among adolescent girls in the early ’90s.

In Lisa Frank’s world, unicorns, tigers and dolphins dance on ribbons of rainbows and hug neon clouds. It’s as if all the cutest creatures of the animal kingdom come together, and then the scene is recreated on a trapper keeper.

Lisa Frank was more than just a name or a brand; she was a movement, a religion.

A folder was no longer just a bland, solid-colored piece of cardboard to hold your papers; it was a manifestation of love and peace and giggles. A pencil was not a pencil without a giant rainbow butterfly eraser stuck on its end (even if it never worked). The lousiest PB&J suddenly tasted delicious when it was packed in a sparkly pony Lisa Frank lunchbox.

Having Lisa Frank supplies was the pledge of allegiance to all things cool and magical in life.

But as the ’90s faded, so did Lisa Frank.

And just when we thought we’d seen our last paint-splattered puppy, she branched out and debuted an amazingly-hideous clothing line in December 2011, including tie-die shorts, glittery dolphin t-shirts, and a calf-length denim skirt, spray-painted rainbow.

The best (worst?) part is the apparel comes in adult sizes, so now all you ’90s babes can not only feel nostalgia, but also wear it.