After a May controversy in which Gucci was accused of plagiarizing a look from Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, the brand has partnered with the the man who helped birth the urban chic movement for its Cruise 2018 men’s tailoring campaign.
In May, a jacket from Gucci’s 2018 Cruise Collection drew attention for its striking similarities to a piece created by Dan in the 80s. The coat was part of Dan’s signature style of fusing high level fashion with street couture.
Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele said the coat’s design was a homage to the Black fashion figure. Yet Dan was never credited as an influence. The controversy established an open line of communication between the two and ultimately resulted in a collaboration.
“Alessandro and I are part of two parallel universes,” Dan told the New York Times. “The magic that took place as a result of what he did was bringing these two parallel universes together. That opened a dialogue between us when we finally got in touch with each other. I found out how similar our experiences were, the way he grew up and the way I grew up, and how he was influenced by me. I was never apprehensive about what took place. The public was more up in arms than me.”
Dan will be modeling for the Gucci cruise campaign and collaborating with them to create a pre-fall collection.
Not only will Dan be working with the premiere fashion brand, the storefront he operated in Harlem between 1982 and 1992 will be open for business again.