Gucci’s new men’s tailoring advertising campaign features Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day. The Harlem couturier renowned for the made-to-order custom designs he created for celebrity clients in the 1980s and early 1990s, before his eponymous boutique was closed down.
Dapper Dan has become famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for using designer logos without permission in the tailoring of his own creations, but litigation by luxury brands saw him put out of business.
Before the lawyers came knocking, Dan cultivated a reputation as the “Hip Hop tailor of Harlem”. He had customers that included rappers, boxers, musicians and criminals. They’d come to him for his bootleg creations that essentially ripped off major high-fashion brands such as Fendi, Louis Vuitton and, yes, Gucci.
Although he was using the logos of high-fashion brands without permission, he did so in innovative ways. Often incorporated into streetwear such as tracksuits, bomber jackets and baseball caps, Dan was ahead of the game and using the logos in ways that the brands themselves would do years later.
Now though, he’s working with the brands and this new series of portraits by Glen Luchford reflect Dapper Dan’s debonair personality and celebrate his cultural legacy, capturing him in his Harlem neighborhood among familiar surroundings.
The portfolio of images sees Dapper Dan on the streets of Harlem. He’s pictured among children playing on the sidewalks, dodging spouting fire hydrants and enjoying skipping games.
The symbolic image below features the famous Apollo Theatre, a Harlem landmark. This historic music hall, which became the Apollo in 1934, has hosted performances by Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown and many more.