How Dapper Dan Brought High Fashion to Harlem

Daniel Day, widely known as Dapper Dan, was born in Harlem, New York in 1944. Described as a “natural born hustler,” Dan had a series of passions that spanned the worlds of fashion, journalism, and gambling. In the late 1960s, Dan worked for a Harlem-based newspaper Forty Acres and a Mule where he commentated on topics ranging from gentrification to pop culture. 

Shortly after, Dan embarked on a trip to Africa where he visited several countries including Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. It was during this trip that Dan would conceive his trademark idea, which he put simply as the “Africanization of the premium European brand.” After returning to New York in 1974, Dan began to sell clothing out of his car and later opened his first boutique in 1982—which was open 24/7. Read more at L’Officiel