Gucci Makes Amends: Dapper Dan Fronts Tailoring Campaign
And he’ll reopen his Harlem studio with Alessandro’s support.
Normally what follows allegations of copying designs is legal action, but such is not the case between Dapper Dan and Gucci. Earlier this year, the Italian label debuted the 2018 resort collection and was accused of stealing a Dapper Dan original from the 1980s, when he dressed notable figures in custom outfits using fabrics from luxury fashion houses — like Gucci — before facing anti-counterfeiting lawsuits and raids in his Harlem store.
Though Dapper Dan wasn’t credited, Gucci said he indeed influenced the collection and Alessandro Michele was looking to collaborate with him. “For me, we can talk about appropriation a lot,” Michele recently explained to the New York Times. “I didn’t put a caption on it because it was so clear. I wanted people to recognize Dapper on the catwalk. It wasn’t appropriation, it was a homage, to me.”
To further show homage, Dapper Dan is now the face of the latest menswear campaign, which is set in his very own Harlem neighborhood. The collaboration doesn’t end with the ads — Dapper Dan officially shares plans to reopen his Harlem studio with support from Gucci, who will supply him with fabric to construct his pieces. He told the NYT:
“People were excited in a different way than I was. I was just excited about it being there. The part about appropriation, Alessandro and I are part of two parallel universes. The magic that took place as a result of what he did was bringing these two parallel universes together. That opened a dialogue between us when we finally got in touch with each other. I found out how similar our experiences were, the way he grew up and the way I grew up, and how he was influenced by me. I was never apprehensive about what took place. The public was more up in arms than me.”
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