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The Fashion Outlaw Dapper Dan
JUNE 3, 2017 | The New York Times | By BARRY MICHAEL COOPER.

Twenty-five years after luxury labels sued his Harlem
boutique out of existence, Gucci looks to him for inspiration......Things have come full circle. Litigation by luxury brands ran Dapper Dan’s Boutique out of business in the ’90s, and now here comes a major fashion house trying to grab the attention of a generation steeped in hip-hop by finding inspiration in a onetime fashion outlaw...... last week after Gucci unveiled a jacket that looked very much like one he designed nearly three decades ago for the Olympic sprinter Diane Dixon.

The fur-lined piece with balloon sleeves created by Mr. Day in the 1980s made use of the Louis Vuitton logo without the brand’s permission. The new Gucci jacket, designed by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, remakes the Dapper Dan jacket, but with the interlocking double-G Gucci logo in place of the Louis Vuitton markings......Gucci [now] acknowledges its debt to the designer......In addition to Gucci’s recent salutation, the Museum of Modern Art plans to include Mr. Day’s work in its fall show “Items.” In an email, MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design, Paola Antonelli, called Mr. Day a “trailblazer” who “showed even the guardians of the original brands the power of creative appropriation, the new life that an authentically ‘illicit’ use could inject into a stale logo, as well as the commercial potential of a stodgy monogram’s walk on the hip-hop side.”.....“What Dap did was take what those major fashion labels were doing and made them better,” said the rapper Darold Ferguson, Jr., who goes by the stage name ASAP Ferg and whose father, Darold Sr., worked at the boutique in the ’80s. “He taught them how to use their designs in a much more effective way. Dap curated hip-hop culture.”

Steve Stoute, the chief executive of the marketing firm Translation, said: “I think what Dap did, he actually taught an entire generation how to engage with luxury brands. Luxury brands, at that point, were not for us. They didn’t even have sizing for black people. So every time I walk into Louis Vuitton to buy a pair of sneakers, or buy a pair of pants in my size, I know they’re only doing it because of Dapper Dan.”....experiences with poverty growing up [crummy shoes] gave him an understanding of how clothes reflect social status.... the need to dress to impress is part of a generational mind-set for many black men who grew up in Harlem......Clothes designing sounds fascinating, but it’s hard work. Folks don’t realize that there are limitations in the body form. We’re humans: We have arms, legs, chest. The exciting part of designing clothes is that you can be really creative within the context of those limitations.”.......Samira Nasr, the fashion director for Elle magazine, likened Mr. Day’s work to that of the innovative hip-hop D.J.s of the era, such as Jason Mizell, a client of Mr. Day’s. Mr. Mizell, who died in 2002, created beats for Run-DMC under the name Jam Master Jay. “Sampling was taking existing music and slicing it to recreate new sounds for original lyrics,” Ms. Nasr wrote in an email. “Dap was sampling in a way. He was taking existing fabrications and breathing new life and beauty into them.”
litigation  luxury  brands  clothing_labels  Gucci  Harlem  stylish  mens'_clothing  African-Americans  New_York_City  sampling  streetwise  '80s  '90s  inspiration  hip_hop  fashion  outlaws  design  retailers  knockoffs  copycats  creative_appropriation  underground_economy  crack_cocaine 
june 2017 by jerryking

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