Update: In response to the fracas, Gucci posted a photograph on Instagram acknowledging Daniel Day aka Dapper Dan’s influence on its puffy-sleeve jacket (below), shown in its resort 2018 collection. In addition, the label told the NY Times it has attempted to reach out to the designer to work on a collaboration.
According to the NY Times:
“In a statement, the company said, ‘Gucci’s ‘new Renaissance’ cruise 2018 fashion show included references to periods of revitalization spanning many different eras, in particular the European Renaissance, the ’70s and the ’80s. The collection also saw a continuation of Alessandro Michele’s exploration of faux-real culture with a series of pieces playing on the Gucci logo and monogram, including a puff-sleeved bomber jacket from the 1980s in an homage to the work of the renowned Harlem tailor Daniel ‘Dapper Dan’ Day and in celebration of the culture of that era in Harlem.’
“A Gucci spokesman said that the brand has tried to contact Mr. Day, so far without success, and that Michele was interested in a collaboration with him that would celebrate the influence he had on fashion and hip-hop culture in the 1980s.”
We would love to see this come to fruition!
Read the original story below.
Gucci presented its resort 2018 runway yesterday (May 29, 2017) and according to press, the collection was inspired by Milan’s Renaissance period. However, among the many items shown, one item clearly took inspiration from a more recent period of time, that being a puffy-sleeve jacket that urban fashion aficionados immediately recognized as a copy of a jacket Harlem designer Daniel Day aka Dapper Dan made in the ’80s for Olympian Diane Dixon.
Dapper Dan is widely known and admired as a tailor who took the appreciation for luxury labels among black celebrities, drug dealers and rappers, and translated it into garments that popped. The logos carried the message of luxury, but Dapper Dan’s designs injected them with life and energy. Yes, he himself copied the logos illegally, but at the same time, he innovated the process of transferring the logos to fabrics.
In a December 2015 interview on Soul Safari, the designer explained, “First I would take little garment bags by Louis Vuitton and Gucci and cut them up, but that wouldn’t suffice for complete garments. So I said, ‘I have to figure out how to print this on fabric and leather.’ I went through trial and error. I didn’t even know we were messing with dangerous chemicals; the U.S. government eventually outlawed the chemicals I was using. We made these huge silk screens so I could do a whole garment. A Jewish friend of mine helped me science out the secret behind the ink, and that was it.”
At the moment “Dapper Dan” is trending on Twitter. The tragedy of this situation is that it could have easily been avoided by Gucci. Since Alessandro Michele’s arrival as lead designer, the label has frequently collaborated with independent artists, most prominently with New York-based graffiti artist Gucci Ghost. Had Gucci partnered with Dapper Dan, it would have been widely praised and generated a ton of good will.
And it’s not too late. Dapper Dan is very much on the scene in New York and is not at all a hidden figure. Recently, his designs were on display at The Museum at FIT’s “Black Designer” exhibit. Gucci could repair a lot of damage by simply reaching out to him and bringing him into the fold (and should do that as soon as possible).
And more than just generating good feelings, a Dapper Dan collabo could be pure gold for Gucci, and as @kimatulova wisely observed on our Instagram feed, “[A Gucci and Dapper Dan collabo] could even surpass the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection.” Indeed it would.
At the moment neither Dapper Dan nor Gucci have commented on the controversy. We reached out to Dapper Dan for comment and will update if either party speaks out.