Monday, September 11, 2017


Harlem Bespoke: There was a time in demimonde of fashion that street style was an aspirational copy of luxury goods but Dapper Dan of Harlem has reversed that trend with a new collaboration via Gucci.  Those following the saga that unfolded on social media this year know that uptown's designer to the hip hop world in the 80s and early 90s worked with signature monogram prints from the likes of Louis Vuitton or Gucci to create entirely new, fantastic looks. This aesthetic has now captivated the world of fashion decades later to a point of plagiarism.  In a sense, fashion is in a quandary because of lack of authenticity and has been looking for actual archival street styles to bring in a new perspective which in turn has bolstered remarkable sales numbers.

The House of Gucci truly transformed to a luxury brand when American designer Tom Ford had his run in the 90s but sales soon declined after his departure 14 years ago.  Creative director Allesandro Michelle stepped into the spotlight a couple of years ago and created a quirky, colorful ode to retro pop culture of decades past which also included knocking off the knock-off logo styles of the 80s made popular in Harlem.  With the buzz and double-digit growth in business, many started noticing an exact copy of Dapper Dan's work with puff monogram mutton sleeves on a re-purposed mink coat which caused quite an uproar.

Gucci was soon accused of plagiarism and the story even made it to the New York Times.  After admitting the unauthorized borrowing of ideas,  the Italian collection has now introduced a collaboration with the uptown designer who has just been featured in the latest advertising campaign.  This comes 25 years later after Gucci shut down the original Dapper Dan boutique for using the company's logo but now the new news has catapulted the uptowner back in the spotlight and back in to business: LINK

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