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Twenty-five years after his Harlem boutique was shut down, Dapper Dan is opening his doors once again, thanks to Gucci.
After Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele re-created a Dapper Dan original for his cruise 2018 collection, he continued to celebrate the designer by casting him in the latest menswear campaign and promising to help him reopen his infamous boutique. “Everyone paid homage to Dapper Dan, but no one ever paid him,” said the designer in a release. “The people have spoken and Gucci has listened. Nothing has been more significant in the Harlem cultural scene than Alessandro and Gucci coming to Harlem and partnering with Dapper Dan.”
, I don’t see you going too far,” said the legendary Harlem-based designer during a panel at Fashionista Con.”]
He was known for his bespoke designs — which relied heavily on “borrowing” logos from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and others — in the ‘80s. After they became highly sought-after in Harlem, Dapper Dan was propelled to mainstream recognition. In 1992 his boutique was shuttered at the behest of fashion houses whose insignias he had been appropriating. And his reappearance is a signal of the return of logo-mania as a fashion trend (this time, with a wink to the blurry line between what’s real and what’s fake).
Dapper Dan’s new space is located just blocks from the original on Lenox Street. The 4,700-square-foot space is housed in a historic Harlem brownstone and features a ground-level storefront and a high-ceiling second-level parlor where on-site production will take place.
Decor includes plenty of leather and wood, as well as vintage furniture and archival photographs from the designer’s storied career. “Made in Italy meets Made in Harlem and the 1980s meets 2018″ is how the space was described in a release.
Prior to becoming his new boutique, the building had been used as a private girls’ school, a working women’s cooperative residence, a doctor’s office, a store and, more recently, residential units.
The Dapper Dan boutique will be open by appointment only starting January 2018. In addition, a Dapper Dan x Gucci capsule will be available along with the fall 2018 collection.
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