After receiving a ton of backlash over the years for not giving Harlem designer Dapper Dan proper credit, as recently as this year. Gucci and the legendary tailor have reportedly come to terms on working together new year. When people called out Gucci for stealing Dapper Dan’s innovative take on a bomber jacket earlier this year, the designer brand released a statement claiming that they were paying homage to Dapper Dan.
“Legendary tailor Dapper Dan @dapperdanharlem influenced the trend by making such custom pieces for his rapper and athlete clients out of logos from famous fashion houses, including #Gucci,” the statement read. “In a homage to Dapper Dan, this jacket worn with jeans and a lurex headpiece is flanked with a striped knit with cross-stitch embroidery, cotton shorts and a georgette gown with trompe l’oeil details.”
Not too long after releasing that statement, the entire Gucci design team reached out to Dapper Dan and eventually met him in Harlem. “They sat on that very couch you’re sitting on,” he told the New York Times. At the end of this year, Dan will open a by-appointment studio for custom commissions. He hopes to have Gucci’s sponsorship, as well as raw materials supplied by the brand.
A sign of the times. For the first time in history, a major luxury brand store has opened in #Harlem: @Gucci by @DapperDanHarlem. With made-to-order garments for your taste and in your specific measurements, I will create your design from your mind, or come up with a design for you. I’ll also have limited edition ready-to-wear items and accessories available for purchase, by appointment only.
The two will also collaborate on a capsule collection that will be sold in Gucci stores worldwide next spring. As for the controversy which ultimately led to this meeting and the subsequent plans down the road, Dapper Dan actually sees Gucci’s jacket as an homage.
“You have to understand, I was prepared to be copied from the time my store was first opened,” he said. “My store first opened, and I couldn’t even get designer garments in there, nobody would sell to me. I’m talking 1982. This is 2017. That’s already behind me. The fact that it has to be two different worlds, I had already accepted that. I was just content with satisfying the people in my community.”