Dapper Dan Is Open For Business

by MR Magazine Staff

he Swiss restaurateur Daniel Humm was deep into explaining the parallels between fine dining and hip-hop Thursday night when Dapper Dan walked into a private room at Humm’s Eleven Madison Park. It was a dinner in honor of the celebrated outlaw luxury designer’s recent, and somewhat surprising, backing from Gucci. The guests stopped and applauded upon his entrance. Dap, as his friends and associates call him, embraced his fans—some new, some old, none more effusive than Naomi Campbell. “Can you make me something?” the model asked. Whispers passed between them. “Yay!” Campbell shouted. “It’s fashion and culture, baby!” said Steve Stoute, looking on. Stoute, a marketing and former hip-hop executive who helped link Dapper with Gucci, threw the party to celebrate the reopening of Dapper Dan’s atelier in Harlem, on Lenox Avenue, just a few blocks from its original location. Colin Kaepernick and Nas, first managed by Stoute in the early 90s, were on hand. “I cannot believe this moment,” Dapper Dan told Vanity Fair. Who could blame him? He had made a name for himself in hip-hop and fashion by chopping and screwing luxury brands’ logo prints and turning them into more flamboyant and surprising versions of themselves. Twenty-five years ago, his atelier was sued out of existence by high-fashion brands. From 1982 to 1992, the 24/7 store counted Mike Tyson and LL Cool J as patrons and Eric B. and Rakim album covers as product placement, but came to be received less glowingly by Fendi lawyers. Despite runway demand for his designs, the financial proposition became untenable. He shut up shop. Read more at Vanity Fair.