We’re all aware that cultural appropriation is alive and well. Borrowing from Black art, music and culture is a faux pas committed by many, from Miley Cyrus to Justin Bieber.
So fashionistas everywhere were quick to point out that Gucci’s new Resort/Cruise 2018 collection includes some pieces that are incredibly similar to Harlem-based designer Daniel Day, better known as Dapper Dan.
It’s particularly upsetting given that Gucci was praised for their celebration of diversity, featuring all Black models and dancers in their pre-Fall 2017 campaign.
Essence.com wrote about the uncanny resemblance and online bloggers posted proof. It’s hard to deny the photographic evidence as fashion editor Lindsay R. Peoples posted side-by-side pics on her Instagram account.
Dapper Dan was huge in the ’80s and ’90s and anyone familiar with his work would immediately recognize the fur bomber jacket with enormous logo and printed puffed sleeves as a total rip-off. Dan used the Louis Vuitton logo and Gucci replaced it with their own.
When creative director Alessandro Michele was asked about the Resort/Cruise 2018 line’s inspiration, he listed the Mediterranean, Greek and Roman cultures and Los Angeles as influences. But oddly enough, no mention of Dapper Dan.
Dan has dressed A-listers in the hip hop game for years, including LL Cool J, Sean P. Diddy Combs and Busta Rhymes in his unique, logo-laden creations.
Due to his unlawful use of major fashion house logos, Dapper Dan was targeted for copyright infringement, and his shop was shut down in 1992.
Dan still designs for private clients and even Louis Vuitton listed him as an inspiration behind a collaboration they did with popular shoe brand, Supreme. If only Gucci had done the same then we’d be Gucci.