Through the years, hip-hop culture has provided the world with many movements that have had worldwide implications. One subcategory in hip-hop that has affected the globe is hip-hop fashion. One of the strongest fashion movements to come out of the culture has been the one headed by Harlem’s own Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day. In the ’80s and ’90s, Dapper Dan’s storied 24-hour boutique kept street hustlers and Black celebrities decked out in unheard of custom fashions featuring the logos of luxury designers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and others. Dapper Dan saw that people on the streets wanted to rock gear from those luxury brands, but those luxury brands weren’t making clothes that catered to everyone’s style and build. With dozens of tailors working in his boutique, Dapper Dan was able to produce quality, highly-sought after pieces that had folks dripping in designer.
Though Dapper Dan’s empire was effectively shut down by the high fashion houses once they got wind of his use of their branding, his impact on the fashion culture overall can never be understated. Though he was forced to the underground to get his fits to those who could afford it, his contributions to fashion were finally recognized in 2017 when luxury brand Gucci was called out online for jacking one of Dapper Dan’s pieces– a fur jacket with puffed out sleeves emblazoned with the Gucci logo made for Olympic star Diane Dixon in the ’80s. In response, the formed an official partnership with Dapper Dan, giving him his own Gucci atelier where he can produce legitimate fits using Gucci’s signature materials.
To celebrate his legacy in the game and his new ventures, Dapper dropped his official memoir, Dapper Dan: Made In Harlem earlier this month (July 9). In turn, Dap went on a press run, hitting the major radio programs in the culture: The Breakfast Club, Ebro In The Morning and Sway’s Universe). In these interviews, Dapper Dan spoke on his history, cultural appropriation, Black ownership, the Gucci boycott and more. His interviews exposed him to a generation who may have never heard his voice or know his place in history and sparked discussions on social media.