Daniel Day—known to the world at large as Dapper Dan—has scored an official partnership with Gucci after a tumultuous history with the label.
Between 1982 and 1992, Day ran a Harlem atelier, famous for high-end, custom pieces that often featured luxury designer logos. The logo use was unauthorized, however, and lawsuits set in motion by big-league houses ended Day’s business—which, by that point had cultivated a celebrity following of its own. Among the regular customers were Mike Tyson, LL Cool J and Olympic runner, Diane Dixon, for whom Day had created a fur bomber with Louis Vuitton logo-emblazoned balloon sleeves in 1989.
Over two decades later, a peculiarly similar coat paraded down the Gucci resort collection runway, with Gucci logo-emblazoned balloon sleeves. The internet took notice, and after numerous call-outs, not least of all from Dixon herself, the fashion house responded by calling the jacket “a homage to Dapper Dan.” Around the same time, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele told the New York Times he had reached out to Day about working together.
That collaboration has now come to fruition. Besides working on a capsule collection to be sold in Gucci stores all over the world, Day is now modeling in the men’s tailoring campaigns in his native Harlem, and a new-gen iteration of Dapper Dan’s original atelier is set to open by the end of the year, this time powered by Gucci.