After a successful first drop, Dapper Dan and Gap are back with a new collection of hoodies. 

The iconic fashion designer will be offering his hoodies first to those in his community of Harlem at the Gap Factory store on 125th St. in New York City. He will also be on hand signing his hoodies. Giving back to the community is something he feels strongly about. In addition to introducing Gap’s new project, he also supports the brand's  Harlem-based nonprofitThe Brotherhood Sister Sol, and its ongoing mission focused on educating, organizing and training for social justice to challenge inequity and create opportunities for Black and Latinx communities 

Image: courtesy of Gap

Ahead of the larger launch, we spoke to Dapper Dan bout the inspiration behind the collections and why he felt the need to give first dibs of his new designs to folks in his community.

EBONY: Can you share more about your inspiration behind the collaboration?
Dapper Dan: It’s been an honor to create new specialty product with such a historic brand like Gap. We both wanted to create a new instant classic of modern American style. There is nothing more iconic in American style than the Gap Arch Logo Hoodie, so we modeled it after that and put the Dap spin on it.

What brought on the partnership with Gap? And how did you know this was the right brand to collaborate with?
It's been quite a thrill to partner with Gap throughout the last year, where we dropped the first DAP hoodies earlier this Spring that sold out almost instantly. From expanding into the metaverse space with my first NFTs, to restocking the hoodies in a collection of bright colors, and now prints, the DAP GAP collaboration symbolizes the merge of accessible fashion with a certain swagger and flair of self-expression. As a designer, it's always exciting to work with a brand that shares similar values and wants to collaborate on something that I think people are really going to love. They gave me the platform to tell my story to the masses and more importantly celebrate Harlem, the neighborhood that inspires me every day.

Can you explain why you chose those specific patterns, prints and colors for your new hoodies?
My vision has always been about destigmatizing the hoodie. At certain points in history, it’s been used to represent the dark side of our culture, so I wanted present it in a way that shows you can wear this and be both fly and elegant. These bold new designs showcase the signature Dap style, all while paying tribute to my Harlem roots with the new addition to that iconic logo. It’s my hope to inspire my community to unapologetically embrace the hoodie and conjure joy through these bright new colors. 

What is the importance behind debuting the collection first to residents in Harlem?
Here in Harlem, 125th St. is the center of our cultural world, and partnering with Gap has allowed me to take the Dap style universal. It means the world to me to get to honor the community that inspires me every day by dropping the new collection at Gap 125th St.first. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, we’re also kicking off the very first Gap House Sessions series with youth-development organization, The Brotherhood Sister Sol, which focuses on educating, organizing, and training for social justice—making space for Black and Latinx young people. It’s so important to give back to the community, particularly the kids.They are the future!