Gucci’s Well-Deserved ‘Homage’ To Dapper Dan Has Resurfaced A Fascinating Moment In Style History

06.01.17 5 months ago

Fashion is cyclical. What’s hot now — 90s-inspired fashion — will likely be hot again in two decades. Because as the great poet Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones once rhymed, “no idea’s original” and “there’s nothing new under the sun.” But things get tricky when it’s a multi-billion dollar fashion house ripping off a style icon they once called the Feds on over copyright infringement.

That appears to be the case with Gucci and legendary hip-hop tailor to the stars, Dapper Dan. The designer made a name for himself in the 80s by creatively blending luxury and cool with his logo-heavy outfits at a time when luxury brands like Gucci paid the hip-hop culture dust. When Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, and LL Cool J needed flashy duds that said, “I’m cool, and I’m rich,” Dapper Dan was the man. From his Harlem shop, the clothier created iconic one-off looks using bootleg Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton fabrics.

Fast forward to 2018, and Gucci is facing backlash for one of their Cruise 2018 designs that seemingly rips off a haute couture creation Dapper Dan made for Olympic gold medalist Diane Dixon in 1989. Dapper Dan’s jacket features puffy Louis Vuitton-monogrammed sleeves with a furry lining. Gucci’s iteration features Gucci-monogrammed sleeves with a furry lining. After comparison shots went viral, Gucci is now acknowledging the similarities by claiming they are simply paying homage to the tailor.

Inside the #GucciCruise18 collection by #AlessandroMichele, a look that celebrates an iconic style of hip-hop fashion culture from the 80s—a plush jacket featuring puffy sleeves monogrammed in GG motif. Legendary tailor Dapper Dan @dapperdanharlem influenced the trend by making such custom pieces for his rapper and athlete clients out of logos from famous fashion houses, including #Gucci. In a homage to Dapper Dan, this jacket worn with jeans and a lurex headpiece is flanked with a striped knit with cross-stitch embroidery, cotton shorts and a georgette gown with trompe l’oeil details.

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