Counterfeit-inception? Reverse counterfeiting? We are struggling to find the right terms/vocabulary to describe the recent Gucci run-in with a 1989 Dapper Dan design. Now this goes much deeper than just this one incident, but allow us to start gently.

A quick backstory:

Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day carried on a fashion and tailoring business in Harlem, NY for ten years in the early 80’s to the early 90’s. Dapper Dan stumbled across arguably (and this will be discussed shortly in the future, hopefully as a mini-series!) one of the earliest notions of brand recognition and logo importance. His use of existing pieces to create new ones (… sounding like anything else we’ve talked about?) and screen-printed bootleg pieces became the go-to style of street credible celebrities and authorities, but also caught the attention of the big names Dapper Dan was using to upcycle from. Gradually lawyers from retailers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi (just to name a few,) came knocking, and Dapper Dan finally closed his doors in 1992.

Why we’re talking about this:

The Twitterverse just about exploded when the similarity (which many caught mere moments after the jacket walked the runway,) was observed.

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A jacket from the Gucci Cruise 2018 collection (right) bore resemblance to a 1989 Dapper Dan creation (left), and many are calling for the luxury house to pay proper credit for the design.

In an official statement, Gucci has acknowledged the similarities and in fact are claiming to pay homage to Dapper Dan and 80’s street style with the recent collection. Gucci had allegedly attempted to contact Dapper Dan, but was unsuccessful for some time.

Now, although not entirely convincing, there may be some merit to this claim of homage/direction. Throwing back to February, let us remember that A$AP Rocky contributed in Gucci’s February runway show and vinyl giveaway for The Alchemist’s Garden.

kk.png                    GucciGhost Saks Fifth Avenue Toronto Display

Then there was the slew of collaborations with 1) Trevor Andrew, also known as GucciGhost, and 2) Coco Capitán to transform an 80’s styled bootleg tee into a present day legitimate Gucci tee.

Gucci Fall 2016                              Gucci Cruise 2018

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At present, it has been confirmed that Gucci and Dapper Dan are in discussions, but details are still quite hush.

This certainly throws a wrench into the mix though, as it blurs the lines between recognized marks and bootleg product, and slurs the legitimacy of the authentic with the inauthentic…


Information gathered from the New York Times x2, Complex Style, and HighSnobiety.

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