The Rise of Dapper Dan

Olympic gold medalist Diane Dixon (1989 Dapper Dan design) | Gucci Model (Resort 2018)

The Culture definitely noticed how Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele took a small, but very impactful, page out of Daniel Day aka Dapper Dan’s legendary book of looks for their Resort 2018 collection. The iconic piece was designed with a brown fur bodice, balloon Louis Vuitton signature LV-logo sleeves, Gucci’s version appeared to be a complete copycat of the 1989 original coat that was made for the Olympic gold medalist Diane Dixon.

Bobby Brown | Rakim | Dapper Dan designs

Now that we’ve received a small spiel about his work, let’s dig a little deeper into the legendary Dapper Dan. Harlem’s high roller of fashion never launched his work on a traditional runway fashion, but his talent of taking name brand clothing and customizing them for a much more innovative look is unforgettable. His influence on fashion in Hip Hop dates all the way to the early ‘80s. One of his first big named clients was legendary rapper LL Cool J. Dapper Dan went on to design for legends like Funkmaster Flex, Bobby Brown, Eric B & Rakim, and Salt and Pepa. During a fashion documentary, ‘Fresh Dressed’ when they asked him about the uniqueness of his designs he replied,“I blackenized it… I made it so that it would look good on us,” stated Dapper Dan.”

Dapper Dan with LL COOL J

During that era, 125th street was filled with luxury cars waiting to be dipped in designer threads constructed by Dan. Unfortunately, Dapper Dan’s shop on 125th street ran out of business because of legal issues regarding the brands he was transforming, some nerve coming from companies that look to us for the newest trends, but needless to say our pioneer Dapper Dan will go down in history for influencing Hip-Hop and the fashion world that will ricochet as long as the genre itself. But as fate would have it Dapper Dan will get his shot to create those innovative pieces and re-open his boutique after all. That’s right, according to an online article on nytimes.com, Gucci proposed a collaboration with Dapper Dan that’s in the works to be released sometime next year… Stay tuned!

Dapper Dan x Gucci Menswear Campaign

Lexii Taylor
Fashion Blogger Intern
Follow on @hailex_

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