I would like to take this post to acknowledge Black History Month 2018. The person I would like to salute is Dapper Dan, an unsung fashion icon.
His government name is Daniel Day. After spending sometime street hustling he was accepted to an Urban League program for at risk youth where he traveled to many countries in Africa as an apprentice. In 1982 he opened his shop on 125th Street in Harlem. He stayed in business for 10 years until the labels he appropriated shut him down.
His business began mainly because many of the luxury designers did not create garments for the black body types. The fit in most cases were off. He dressed the neighborhood hustlers, established hip-hop mc’s, dj’s and well-known entertainers. When the word got out he was creating these looks the out-of-towners added to his clientele. What Dapper Dan is actually known for is redesigning the clothing created by luxury designers utilizing the luxury logos. This was a very innovative move. He paid homage in a way that appealed to his clientele.
Currently he has an alliance with the Gucci designer, Alessandro Michele. The jacket Dan created in the 1980’s with the Luis Vuitton logo for an Olympic star Diane Dixon has been redone with Gucci logos. He has meetings with many in the fashion world. He has been seen at runway shows as well. It is nice to see an unsung icon get his just due.
Pictures from left to right: 1980’s LV jacket, Current Gucci jacket, Dapper Dan, LV jacket, Rapper LL Cool J and Dapper Dan and LV Leather jacket