On Monday night, an image of a new jacket from Gucci's 2018 Cruise collection was widely circulated on Twitter alongside a photo of a retro design from Harlem icon Dapper Dan. There's a stark similarity between the two garments that suggests Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele lifted the idea directly from the legendary Harlem clothier. While Dan used Louis Vuitton print instead of Gucci material, the brown fur, puffy sleeves, and silhouette are all nearly identical to his original.
In the 1980s, Dapper Dan set the precedent for merging high fashion prints with ostentatious streetwear. The Harlem pioneer used luxe fabrics to craft custom pieces that spoke to the culture, while brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi weren't making anything marketed towards the black community. Some of the era's most popular MCs and neighborhood figures donned Dan's fresh adaptions.
In recent years, Gucci has attempted to position itself closely to black culture. Gucci's pre-fall campaign featured all black models, who wore pieces from their collection while emulating a 1970's hip-hop club scene. This week's runway look proves yet again that black folks create and revolutionize style trends while high-end designers hijack those aesthetics for their own gain.
this hits home, especially after viewing Gucci's resort collection & seeing absolutely no credits towards the style icon Dapper Dan. pic.twitter.com/7ZNwgaLlaD— Brown Girl Alchemy (@amberjfinney) May 30, 2017
I want to know if Gucci has any black senior level employees so they can advise the company to stop stealing from us. That's all. pic.twitter.com/eBZJeIPvQQ— Shiona Turini (@shionat) May 29, 2017
It's funny that high fashion brands wouldn't sell to Dapper Dan, yet Gucci has a look clearly inspired by him in their Cruise 2018 show.— tahirah hairston (@tahairyy) May 29, 2017
On the left Dapper Dan creation circa 1980 something, then on right Gucci cruise 18'..... 🙄 pic.twitter.com/0O8OQsR769— Shelton Boyd (@flyrebel) May 29, 2017
Sorry Alessandro but Dapper Dan is gonna need his credit pic.twitter.com/O7tkjOgIjV— j (@gucciandior) May 30, 2017
"I blackenized it." ~Dapper Dan— LH Moore (@ElleHM) May 29, 2017
Oh hells YES. Watching "Fresh Dressed". pic.twitter.com/8WjCz6r7gT