this post was published earlier in 2016 as Black Power -the New Black Dandyism  

and still relevant enough to re-post it. US designer Dapper Dan from Harlem is now the new guest designer for Gucci. 

dapper dan -gucci collectie

Introducing the collection of ready-to-wear and accessories that takes its cue from the Dapper Dan archive created with the House’s refined materials. Featuring a new yellow Gucci logo, the pieces were shot by Ari Marcopoulos on young faces from Harlem.
Exploring the synergy of design between Dapper Dan and creative director Alessandro Michele, the new collection of ready-to-wear and accessories features tracksuits in luxurious fabrics, denim with late 80s washes and fits and GG canvas jacquard jackets.

see also an homage to the couturier’s original boutique, unveiling the Dapper Dan Harlem atelier studio.

LES SAPEURS & NYC GANGSTA STYLE

Each new movement has obviously predecessors. Les Sapeurs became somewhat of a household name in Congo in the 60’s with their brash dandyism. In New York it was designer Dapper Dan of Harlem who created the flamboyant look and style of rappers like LL Cool J and other heroes of the early hip hop scene in early 80’s.

dapper dan interview magazine 1
Dapper Dan of Harlem

Right on 125th street in Harlem USA, sat a custom high-end clothing boutique owned by Mr. Dapper Dan. Before Kanye, Juelz, Fabolous and some other well known rappers wore Gucci and Louis Vutton, Dapper Dan in the 80’s and 90’s planted the seed for fashion in the hip hop culture. He created one of a kind customized high-end clothing that incorporated highly recognizable accessory logos like those of Gucci and Louis Vuitton, featuring them in non-traditional ways. His pieces were sold for thousands of dollars, and created a sense of what’s cool, what’s new in the streets and ‘in hip-hop’.

The designer describes his way of working as ‘sampling’, an unique interpretation of mixing existing designs and logos with his own interpretation. Dan Dapper ” I opened my workshop in ’82. 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.”

Diane Dixon coat by Dapper Dan
the Diane Dixon coat
dapper dan alpo coat
the Aldo coat

 

His designs specified the look of hip-hop artists, sporters and those incurred by gangsters. “Gangsters. That’s who I grew up with. Middle-class blacks couldn’t accept what I was doing—you had to be of a revolutionary spirit. Who would be more like that than gangsters? And who would have the money? Hip-hop artists didn’t have any money. They used to wait until the gangsters left the store before they could come in and ask what the gangsters wore. Everybody follows the gangsters. The athletes came before the hip-hop artists. Mark Jackson, Walter Berry. I’ve got pictures of NBA players that I can’t even remember their names. The athletes had money earlier that the hip-hop artists.

FAVORITE CREATION: The “Alpo Coat” [for drug dealer Alberto Martinez] and the Diane Dixon coat [for Olympic athlete Diane Dixon].

source; The Guardian

see also les Sapeurs; battle of the dandies

 

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