Dapper Dan and Gucci's New Collaboration Store

photo credit: The FADER

Dapper Dan is a luxury fashion designer who used to customize and alter designer brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton for "urban"  rappers and singers such as Diddy, LL Cool J, and  Rakim. He was sued for all that he was worth by all those designer brands for altering their work and reselling it in the 90’s. Gucci has recently partnered with Dapper Dan for an official collaboration. He now has the ability to make custom pieces for the luxury brand that are exclusive to the Dapper Dan collection. But, most luxury brands were not fans of Dan's work in the 90's when he made their designs flashier, more vibrant and fresh. He had to close his 24 hour shop in Harlem because of all the lawsuits he had for altering their work. Now, the luxury brand community is trying to repair the damage they did on Dan's career by supporting his new career at the age of 63 in 2018.

Is the new support of Dapper Dan's career genuine or a new plot to gain popularity from the new love of his once called “flashy designs?” Most designer brands were not fans of any of Dan's designs and called them "ghetto" but now in the age of bright colors, logos, and intricate designs, Dapper Dan's work is now praised as a pioneer for modern fashion. His now dated designs were full of logos, patchwork, leather, and spray paint. I think that most of these brands are taking advantage of the fame Dapper Dan gained from straying away for the standard that most designer brands followed.  But now that is designs are praised they want to attach themselves to him to make themselves look good. But in reality they never liked his designs because his were catering to a group of people they could never reach: Black and Brown people. Dapper Dap’s designs catered to the people who liked personalized clothing, innovative designs, and Gucci head to toe.

The designs that Dapper Dan Specialized in were designs that were that catered to the people who wanted to be exclusive and have clothing that would stand out. He made his name in his original Harlem shop by making iconic pieces like a Louis Vuitton Sweatshirt with fur arms for supermodels at the time.  Dan was the pioneer of having logos from luxury brands plastered all over your body. He loves making pieces that we full of logos in a unique way that carter to the client’s wishes. He carted to the wants of the people around him in his community and Harlem and New York all around praises him. 

So while I am happy that Dapper Dan is now getting the recognition he deserved 20 years ago I am little skeptical of the new found praise from Luxury designers. Why in 2018 are luxury brands all flocking to African American designers that the strayed away from in the 1990's. But what I can say is that Dapper Dan's designs are in high demand and luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Versace are all looking to him for inspiration.  Despite all the speculation and my theories behind this new decision for Dapper and Dan and Gucci to collaborate, I will definitely be visiting the store if I am ever in Harlem. His designs carter to me: the bougie, flashy, and innovative. 

Dapper Dan is a praised designer in the African American community and to see him get the respect from luxury brands that shunned him is gratifying. He is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Dapper Dan can now continue to make innovative designs for people like Quavo, Christian Combs, and younger artists who see his vision.  And he gets to do so with one of the hottest designers right now, Gucci. 

photo credit: The Fader 

thumbnail photo credit: GQ