[L]egendary Harlem tailor Dapper Dan is back in the headlines this week, following the news that he is re-opening his Harlem atelier in partnership with Gucci.
Way before street wear and bootlegging became high fashion, Dapper Dan was creating a sensation in NYC with his bespoke logo printed looks. Commissioned by hip-hop royalty and uptown’s finest, DD is a master of appropriation and maximalism – turning Gucci, Fendi, MCM and Louis Vuitton prints into custom made tracksuits, jumpsuits, jackets and even upholstery.
From 1982 until its closure in 1992 following legal action, Dan’s 125th street boutique was frequented by the likes of Run DMC, LL Cool J, Bobby Brown and Salt-n-Pepa – all in search of the flyest gear. Open around the clock, the store was packed wall to wall with rolls of imitation monogram prints imported from Korea – ready to be transformed into anything you wanted.
From Eric B and Rakim’s custom Gucci coats for the cover of ‘Follow the Leader’, to Salt-n-Pepa’s ‘Push It’ jackets – Dan’s creations are an unforgettable part of hip-hop history. Here are 10 of our favourite looks.