The Gucci-Dapper Dan Collection
Now, if you are an old-school New Yorker who grew up on hip-hop music then this collaboration is epic fashion news to you. The Designer O.G. Dapper Dan Collection with Gucci is rappers delight. Luxury streetwear made in styles we can wear and relate to. Street Wear is an everyday wear and a little uptown style never hurt anyone. Go Uptown!
Yesterday Gucci launched the news of its Gucci-Dapper Dan collection on gucci.com and at select flagship stores of the House around the world.
To mark this new initiative, photographer Ari Marcopoulos, who has previously collaborated on projects with the House, shot a series of portraits for this special collection. Taking inspiration from archive imagery from the 80s showing Dapper Dan’s custom pieces, the gallery of pictures shot in and around the streets of Harlem New York have a similar street aesthetic to the original photographs. Featuring young personalities from the neighborhood together with models wearing the ready-to-wear and accessories of the Gucci-Dapper Dan collection, the lookbook pays homage to the celebrated designer’s heritage.
Dapper Dan, born Daniel Day, built up a cult following from his original Harlem shop on 125th Street in the Eighties and early Nineties. He is known for making one-off outfits for a host of hip-hop stars, street legends, and athletes including artists Bobby Brown, LL Cool J, Eric B. & Rakim (see the cover of their Paid in Full album), Big Daddy Kane, Salt-N-Pepa, and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. His eclectic style showed his curiosity and cultural adventurousness, and this resonated with Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s Creative Director, who himself takes inspiration from a myriad of sources.
The Gucci-Dapper Dan collection takes its cue from the Dapper Dan archive and re-imagines the types of garments he is known for – essentially a variety of luxurious tracksuit and jacket styles – in Gucci’s exceptional materials. This is a Guccified version of the original Dapper Dan aesthetic. As this was a look that derived from the logos and motifs of luxury houses, it is a fascinating experiment in collaboration, which owes as much to the practice of contemporary music production as it does to fashion design. The new collection is an extraordinary example of fashion sampling and explores the synergy between the magpie design philosophies of both Dan and Michele.
Dapper Dan was known for using all-over logos in his original designs, so screen-printed leather featuring the GG logo is key here. Appliqué is also used on the chests and backs of pieces, with Gucci designs (like the embroidered dragon) embellishing Dap’s original decorations. Gold printed python is employed as a trim, to reference Dap’s original use of gold leather, and ciniglia jersey replicates the look and feel of his tracksuits of the Eighties. Tracksuits also come in GG-printed nylon and in velour. Denim has late-Eighties/early-Nineties washes and fits, and canvas jackets use the GG jacquard, while a light Nappa leather is colored gold. A GG jacquard knit takes its inspiration from a Dapper Dan custom car interior, while the script on the window of his original Harlem store was the starting point for the development of a new yellow Gucci logo.
Continuing Alessandro Michele’s love of incorporating typography into his designs, the collaboration features the phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM. Michele asked Dan to come up with some words that he felt would represent the spirit of the collection. He responded with this quote, which is Latin for “Out of many, one”, and is the motto of the United States. It appears on the country’s Great Seal and on coins and dollar bills. It can be found on the jewellery of the collection and as an embroidered slogan on the clothing too.
A host of accessories flesh out the offer. Large eyewear pieces have Swarovski crystal embellishments, including a Dapper Dan logo in stones on the arms. Gold medallions on “woven” gold chains feature lion heads and the face of a bearded Greek god. Bright GG-logo trainers and high-tops sport the House web stripe in green-red-green, navy-red-navy or a gold-black-gold version; slides display a large Gucci Dapper Dan logo.
Coloured backpacks and belt bags (in red, brown or black) come in all-over GG-logo material with a variety of details: interlocking GG motifs, the green-red-green web stripe and a gold Gucci logo. Silk squares exhibiting the Gucci Flora pattern have a border with Dapper Dan’s name running around it, and thin cravats are covered in tiny interlocking G. A baseball cap, bucket hat and knitted hats also feature this pattern, while socks are adorned with a Gucci logo. While much of the collection is unisex, some of the ready-to-wear pieces of clothing are gender-specific, and in the footwear, there are formal styles specifically for men and for women, plus a knee-high woman’s boot in a brown GG-logo material.
The Gucci-Dapper Dan collection is presented in specially created packaging featuring the new yellow Gucci logo on a Web stripe background. The collection belongs in the Rock and Roll Museum, the tate and anywhere people can collect art. Definitely collectors items and pieces to buy and only wear a few times.