Here Comes Gucci x Dapper Dan
If Muhammad doesn’t come to the mountain then mountain goes to Muhammad they say (or vice versa). In fashion we live in such an era. After years long “counterfeit” wars, which resemble scenes from cop
If Muhammad doesn’t come to the mountain then mountain goes to Muhammad they say (or vice versa). In fashion we live in such an era. After years long “counterfeit” wars, which resemble scenes from cop shows, featuring scenes of chasing down street vendors on the streets, famous brands are starting to own the “bootlegging” trend from the 80s.
Briefly, if we need to recall what bootleg is really about, namely, printing luxury brands logos on their own sweatshop-produced (with very questionable quality) product, usually involving making typos on purpose or not on purpose. I know, you may ask, how many typos can one make with a 5 letter word like Gucci? But at a remote corner of Bangladesh,the woman embroidering logos on a sweatshirt on a very very very low wage, is neither a Gucci fan nor gives a damn about how the logo is spelled.
In 80’s when it comes to bootleg, its poster child, Dapper Dan, is not like a sweatshop kind of guy. He is more like a pioneer who wanted to fulfil the desires of his luxury-brand-image-loving African-American customers form Harlem. One day, one of his regulars steps into to his Harlem boutique while our Dapper Dan was minding his own business and shows him his new Louis Vuitton wallet with such pride and love in his eyes, like Mufasa showing off Simba.
Dapper Dan says to himself “wow, if this palm-sized wallet makes this guy so happy, who knows what he would do for a jacket or a tracksuit fully emblazoned with LV logos. (maybe these aren’t his exact words, I approximating). So he starts to make many Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior branded clothes for rappers, athletes and stars. For him, this wasn’t an act of counterfeit or copying. For him it was more like, those brands were not designing wardrobe classics desired by the African-American clientele and he filled that niche.
Flash forward to today, Bootleg culture is adopted by these brands and a Gucci t-shirt with its worn-out logo, which you are probably already tired of seeing, can cost a couple of hundred dollars. Diesel opens up a “Deisel” named pop-up store. Louis Vuitton collaborated for a collection with the streetwear brand Supreme, against which LV has had a series of decades long lawsuits. And we, sometimes find them funny, thinking how virtuous these brands are, for being able to poke fun at themselves. Or sometimes feeling nostalgic about the times we wandered through the street vendors at various holiday resorts from our childhood.
But amongst all these brands, this trend has been most embraced by Gucci and its designer, Alessandro Michele in my opinion. For their Resort 2018 Collection knocking off the iconic past designs of Dapper Dan, Gucci is now offering their collaboration with him. The collection, whose shoots you can see throughout the article (its golden lighting was so on point by the way) is now decorating the windows of the SoHo Store, if you happen to pass by…