Dapper Dan became a force in hip-hop fashion during the 1980s, dressing everyone from your local dealer to rap phenoms such as LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa and Eric B. & Rakim. Now Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day’s life story is coming to the big screen as a “high stakes coming-of-age story.”
Sony is developing the biopic based on Dapper Dan’s unreleased memoir, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The book published by Random House will be out in 2019 and will be adapted into a feature film by comedian and writer Jerrod Carmichael. Immersive Picture’s Josh Bratman and Carmichael will produce the project.
Dan, who is from Harlem, is one of streetwear’s pioneers, and his store on 125th Street became synonymous with hip-hop culture. The tailor would use high-fashion fabrics such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton to make custom pieces. Ultimately, after counterfeit litigation, Dapper Dan’s Boutique would close, but his imprint would live on in hip-hop culture.
After two decades, Dapper Dan returned to the fashion world last year after Gucci was accused of copying one of his iconic 1980s designs. Now, the style and fashion icon has partnered with the brand to design a capsule collection and has reopened his iconic store in Harlem, where he is back to custom pieces. Salma Hayek donned a Gucci by Dapper Dan piece to an Oscars afterparty over the weekend.
@SalmaHayek wore the most important outfit of the night. It wasn’t because she is absolutely stunning—because she is. It wasn’t because it was the best outfit of the night—because it wasn’t. It’s not because it was @Gucci, nor is it because it was made by #DapperDan. No. It was the most important because it sent a message to my pen pals in the favelas of Brazil, and in Soweto, South Africa, and in every ghetto in the world where people are trying to find a way to “make it from The Corner to the rest of the world.” It is important because they know that my story is their story, and that if someone of Salma’s stature would wear something of mine, then they, too, can be a designer. #Harlem
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Dapper Dan and his son Jelani Day will executive produce the biopic. Though Jelani was a child during the height of his father’s tailoring business, he now serves as the brand’s manager.
The untitled movie will be out after the release of Dapper Dan’s memoir.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.