Style to go!

Mark Sprouse enters the coffee shop in a flurry and deftly moves behind the counter to fill up a Thermos before the RTA bus driver who just dropped him off circles around for the fresh joe. 

“This really is curbside service today,” Sprouse says as he smiles at his bus driver before heading back into Willow Coffee House on the corner of 117th and Madison in Cleveland. 

Today Sprouse is wearing refashioned vintage polo, deconstructed denim, a worn Army messenger bag, flip flops and sunglasses. Despite all of the worn gear, Sprouse gives face of someone completely pulled together. His perfect haircut balances out the raggedy edges. 

Sprouse, co-owner of Willow, describes his decorating as a direct extension of his personal style and closet. 

“Eclectic in the truest sense of the word,” says Sprouse, looking around at the interesting mix of antiques, yard sale finds, plants and kitschy accents. 

“I like to go to thrift stores and refurbish clothing,” Sprouse says while describing the polo he refashioned with an ink jet iron-on emblazoned with his Scottish family crest. 

Looking at the next life of clothing comes naturally for Sprouse. “I just kind of think, 'This is my idea,' and then I slap it together," he says.

Fifteen-year-old American Eagle jeans, 88-cent sunglasses from Marc's, drugstore flip-flops and a bag that was a find at an Army Navy surplus complete his look.

“I look like a hobo in these jeans, but I cannot give them up! Anyway, you pair them with a classic white oxford to class it up,” he says. This deconstructed and torn look goes along with the burgeoning grunge fashion revival as seen in recent runway shows. 

When asked about his fashion influences, Sprose says, “I don’t know if I really have a favorite designer, but I really like Jean-Paul Gaultier. His cuts are very flattering, and I really like his weird spin on things.”

Even his favorite band, Jamariqua, can be described as having eclectic beats and a fusion of styles. Locally, he likes shopping at Flower Child in Cleveland for the vintage wares, and his favorite place to dine is Thai Kitchen in Lakewood. 

“The people and the food are amazing. You have to try the kitchen spring rolls,” Sprouse says. 

In talking with Sprouse, he gives the impression of someone greatly influenced by all that the world has to offer, while still keeping his loyalties local. 

Refashioned upcycled clothing, shopping locally and riding public transportation are all
ecologically sound practices integrated into his daily routine. Sprouse never mentions these practices, but in careful observation you see that he is someone living in a very green fashion while never sacrificing his personal style.

Monday, August 10, 2009