By Ruthie Friedlander
Updated Dec 14, 2017 @ 12:45 pm
Advertisement
Renell Medrano

Ok, here’s the rundown on what’s going on with Gucci today.

This past summer, Gucci was called out for ripping off a jacket that, in the 80’s, Harlem couturier Daniel Day (known better as Dapper Dan) created for Olympic sprinter Diane Dixon.

The original piece, fur-lined with huge sleeves, used the Louis Vuitton logo (without the approval of the French atelier, of course). Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci, took the Dapper Dan jacket, added the iconic interlocking double-G Logo and voila — a social media explosion ensued.

Dapper Dan fans were pissed and fashion experts were confused. How could a brand as big as Gucci so directly copy such an iconic piece of fashion history? But Gucci, to the surprise of many, made no qualms about acknowledging its inspiration, Instagramming a photo of the jacket with the caption, “a homage to Dapper Dan”. Instantly rumors of a collaboration began circulating and today we are excited to confirm, the rumors were true.

Today, Gucci and Dapper Dan unveiled a studio atelier in Harlem, honoring Day's original shop, Dapper Dan’s Boutique, with a more modern edge for the new generation. The new atelier will enable shoppers to get bespoke Dapper Dan pieces made using Gucci raw materials, fabrics, prints, embroidered patches and hardware. The custom-made pieces will be available exclusively at the new store on Lenox Avenue, near Day’s original shop, and will be open “by appointment only” beginning January 2018.

Renell Medrano

“Everyone paid homage to Dapper Dan, but no one ever paid him,” said Dapper Dan. “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.”

Not in the market for a bespoke custom piece? Um, you’re crazy, but okay, fine. The beauty of store itself is enough to make you take a trip up there, should you find yourself in New York this winter. The 4,700 square foot brownstone was originally designed by A.B. Van Dusen for Edward Roberts (a.k.a. the dude that invented the P.C.) in 1887. Throughout the twentieth century, the Renaissance Revival building was at once an all girls' private school, a working women’s cooperative residence, a doctor’s office, a store, and a home. Today, the store is a beacon of creative wonder: deep cherry wood paneling, warm yellow lighting, and marigold velvet detailing — perfectly historic and modern at the same time. Just like Gucci.