Luxury fashion house Gucci and Harlem couturier Dapper Dan (Daniel Day) are teaming up officially for the first time.
The collaboration follows a historic and controversial relationship between the pair. Dapper Dan’s iconic atelier was closed in the 80s amid a flurry of counterfeiting lawsuits from luxury fashion brands (Gucci included), while in 2017, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele came under fire for copying an iconic Dapper Dan jacket design.
The pair are now set to collaborate on a number of projects. Dapper Dan has been announced as the star of Gucci’s Autumn/Winter 2017/18 tailoring campaign and will collaborate with the house on a capsule collection for Pre-Fall next year. The house will also support the relaunch of the designer’s famous studio and atelier, supplying upscale fabrics and financing.
The partnership is a smart move from Gucci, which was hit by damning cultural appropriation accusations following its 2017 homage to Dapper Dan’s designs. Despite the brands’ circular relationship, consumers are especially keen on demanding that credit is properly shown across racial and cultural boundaries. Shrewd brands would do well to consider appropriate influencers and campaign stars when navigating the intricate nuances of race and culture.
For more on how brands can navigate the diverse fashion community, see The New Fashion Landscape 2017 Update – Diversity Rules. For more on the evolving relationship between counterfeit and luxury, see The Edge of Extravagance.