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  • Mikahila Bloomfield

Did Gucci's Alessandro Michele Copy Dapper Dan for This Look?

Update: Gucci confirmed their jacket was in fact inspired by Dapper Dan's original in a statement to the New York Times, “Gucci’s ‘new Renaissance’ cruise 2018 fashion show included references to periods of revitalization spanning many different eras, in particular the European Renaissance, the ’70s and the ’80s. The collection also saw a continuation of Alessandro Michele’s exploration of faux-real culture with a series of pieces playing on the Gucci logo and monogram, including a puff-sleeved bomber jacket from the 1980s in an homage to the work of the renowned Harlem tailor Daniel ‘Dapper Dan’ Day and in celebration of the culture of that era in Harlem.”

Hip-hop artists of the 1980s turned to Harlem couturier Dapper Dan to create custom track suits, coats, and streetwear emblazoned with luxury logos. But did Gucci's Creative Director turn to Dapper Dan for inspiration for the Gucci Cruise 2018 collection?

Gucci Cruise 2018 next to Dapper Dan's 1980s design
Gucci Cruise 2018 next to Dapper Dan's 1980s design.

It appears Alessandro Michele has presented his design mantra of "fake vintage" once more, this time without appropriate attribution to the original artist.

While Dapper Dan's designs were considered illegal, bootleg wares, Gucci in recent years has collaborated with other counterfeit artists.

Around the time Dapper Dan started his haberdashery, Bronx Native, Sonia Sotomayer started work at the Pavia and Harcourt law firm, focusing on intellectual property litigation. After four years of raids on Dapper Dan's atelier, one of Sotomayer’s last acts as a private attorney before becoming a judge was her 1992 case against Dapper Dan which ultimately led to the closing of his Harlem store.

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