Dapper dan talks gucci partnership, dressing harlem’s notorious gangsters, and getting busted by sonia sotomayor

by MR Magazine Staff

Dapper Dan is the original auteur of gangster chic. Born Daniel Day and hailing from 129th and Lexington Avenue in New York City, he is the personification of one of America’s most famous (and notorious) neighborhoods, combining the elegance and swagger—the deep sense of history and the energetic hustle—that is Harlem. Dap is most readily known as the tailor and couturier who gave rap music (and the cocaine ’80s) its signature style, draping everyone from Big Daddy Kane to Mike Tyson in unforgettable, one-of-a-kind counterfeits of the trendiest upmarket brands of the day: Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and MCM—acts of sartorial piracy so extravagant, so daring, that they demanded to be described with the neologism “knockups” rather than knockoffs. Whereas conventional bootleggers “stepped on” the street value of their chosen logo—making expensive brands cheaper, more accessible—Dapper Dan made luxury even more luxurious, producing custom looks in fur and designer leather, scarcely affordable for anyone outside the elite circles of sports stars and drug kingpins. Read more at GQ.