Today’s fashion icon is American fashion designer Dapper Dan. He is a pioneer of high fashion in his community of Harlem, New York where he established his own boutique in 1982. As he got into the business he had a tough time acquiring the textiles and furs, he needed to make his designs. So he decided to teach himself textile printing and began making high-end bootleg fashion pieces, with logo prints inspired by Gucci, Fendi, and MCM.
Since the beginning, he always had a good sense of his customer base and tailored specific pieces just for them. He created ensembles for the likes of Frank Sinatra, LL Cool J, Mike Tyson, Diane Dixon and other influential people in New York. However, all this publicity got the attention of authorities who shut down his store in 1992 for the possession of counterfeit items.
Today, many high-end brands have recreated the looks that originated from Dapper Dan. In 2018 he partnered with Gucci and opened a new store, the first luxury house fashion store in Harlem. A true legend, who helped introduce luxury fashion in minority communities.
Written by: Ian-Maxime Lufitha