Los Angeles streetwear icon and Born X Raised founder Chris “Spanto” Printup has passed away. He was 42.
“He leaves behind his wife Anna and his three children Marilyn, Carter and David, a sister, three brothers, his mother, stepmother and stepfather, his beloved grandparents, his family at Born X Raised, his extended family, the city of Los Angeles who he loved and represented, and an extensive network of true friends.”
Born The brand’s collaborations with the Dodgers and Rams sold out in minutes, and their epic outbursts, including the FOMO-triggering Sadie Hawkins Winter Formal Dance, have been featured in The Times, Vogue and the New York Times with the likes of Danny Trejo, Miguel , Nadia Lee Cohen and Freddie Gibbs plan their seizures months in advance.
“Spanto was all about the people,” wrote an Angeleno on Tuesday Instagram. “He is doing his best to help many communities. When he shared with us that he was traveling in solidarity with children suffering from cancer, many of us joined him and walked in solidarity to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House SoCal.
Spanto was gifted too Pairs of Born X Raised Nike SB Dunks for Venice High School seniors of 2023.
A native Venetian of Apache and Seneca heritage, Spanto used his Indigenous background and devotion to Los Angeles as inspiration for his fashion designs and the way he promoted them. He often used friends, family and people he admired to model his pieces, including his mother and siblings. Born
“I grew up in Los Angeles in the ’80s and ’90s when the way you dressed was a very loud statement,” Spanto said Fashion earlier this month. “We wore our clothes like armor and a sign of courage. I keep and carry that same energy with me when designing my collections.”
Spanto was born on June 6, 1981 and grew up in poor circumstances as the son of artists and musicians. His father was homeless and played blues on the boardwalk for a change, and his mother was an artist, musician and writer. But in one 2022 Interview with Fusethe designer said he was fortunate to grow up poor and the difficulties in his early years made him who he is.
“Anyone who grows up poor needs an identity,” he said. “You have to have something to call your own because you don’t have physical objects.
“What do you think of when you think of starving artists? My family has always been in a state of constant upheaval. We didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but we are surrounded by a deep, rich culture of music, art and food.”
During his younger years, Spanto was on and off jail and admittedly sold drugs. During his incarceration, he developed the idea for Born
“There was no business model. There were no investors. There was no nothing,” he told Fuse.
But the brand meant something to him. He had a vision and wanted to shed some light on Los Angeles culture – authentic, born and raised, deserved Angeleno culture.
“I realized that so many people come to LA and are chasing the LA dream. Or you know the stereotype that LA has… the Tinseltown, TMZ thing everyone’s chasing.
“We’re actually against it,” he said. “We are very proud of Los Angeles as a culture and as people. So I decided to shed some light on the communities that built this place. “Born X Raised” is like a love letter to the city I once grew up in that is now gone.”
When Spanto was released from prison, he printed 36 T-shirts and sold them from the trunk of his car. With the money from the sales, he printed more and more.
“It’s really like selling drugs,” he joked.
In July 2013, shortly after the release of Born, he was devastated, with no money, no car and no home. But he and his business partner, Born X Raised creative director Alex 2 Tone, worked on the brand throughout Spanto’s chemotherapy regimen. And in 2018 he was cancer free.
“The bright spot for all of this, as cheesy as it may sound, was our company. We designed the next season in the hospital bed. And I think if I didn’t have that to keep me busy, I probably would have given up.”
Spanto’s commitment to Los Angeles and the Venetian community made him a popular figure, but his extraordinary parties and keen ability to capture the cultural pulse through his streetwear made him a legend.
“When I was 19 or 20, I dressed smartly as fresh as I could be,” he told The Times in March 2022. “I walked out the door at some Hollywood nightclub and got a Wichita cornball.” Like, “You can’t come in here, bro.” I was like, “I’ll be back.” “I’m going to start my own party for people like us .”
“If I left this earth, this earth would live on forever. We built it for the people of Los Angeles.”
Julissa James, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.