Widely known as the man behind some of 80-90s hip-hop’s most iconic styles, Dapper Dan, born Daniel Day, was a fashion equivalent of Robin Hood
He would take popular, eurocentric luxury brands, such as Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton, and make them accessible to the African-American elite by emblazoning their logos onto custom, one-of-a-kind pieces available only to rappers, sports stars, and the like
The large brands took notice of his work, and weren’t pleased with the image he was cultivating; ironically, in that era the popular notion for high fashion was to stay as far away from street culture as possible. They went after him with lawsuit after lawsuit, until in 1992 he was forced to close his infamous Harlem boutique
The current relationship between high fashion and Dapper Dan, however, has taken a complete 180 degree turn. Due to Gucci’s 2017 re-introduction of a piece heavily inspired by Dan, despite their previous rifts, people began to cry rightful ownership of his creative property. This sparked an eventual Dapper Dan x Gucci collaboration, in which the Harlem legend was given his own atelier and complete creative freedom.