Today being #TBT is ironic as Dapper Dan has created some of the most trendy fashion in hip hop history. He has worked designing for 80’s rap icons Eric B. and Rakim, Salt and Pepa, and LL Cool J. Beyonce recently wore his designs during last summer’s “On the Run II Tour.”
The work he created led to the legendary fashion designer to be chosen to spearhead his own Gucci capsule collection. Dapper Dan was responsible for a meeting that was made to help with sensitive issues that the Gucci brand had concerning some questionable choices for fashion such as their blackface turtleneck design.
This created an online debate about African Americans empowering themselves by only supporting brands that represent the community in a positive light. However, there seems to be a division about this mindset as sometimes the community does not support its own. Dapper Dan went on The Breakfast Club and explained why he believes this scenario occurs.
Charlemagne tha God: Why do you think we value these high-end fashion designers – like the Guccis and whoever else – more than we Black brands? And what can we do to change that?
Dapper Dan: You got a bigger problem than that, man. And I’ll address that, too. When you say, ‘What should we do to change that?’ – it pre-supposes that it needs to be changed. When you say change, do you mean change the element of aspiration that makes us wanna get expensive things? Is that what you’re talkin’ ’bout? Or are you just saying, ‘Walk away from these expensive brands?
Charlamagne: I’m not saying, ‘Walk away.’ I’m just saying there can be some Gucci shades that you’re wearing right now on a table, and it can be some shades by a Black designer that look the same, same quality, same material, same everything – and the person’ll pick the Gucci. Why is that? How do we put the value on our stuff?
Dan: It’s what I call the Pimp Program. When you see a pimp, he’s all dressed up [and] fly – he’s more attractive. People want what they can’t get.
Charlamagne: So you sayin’ Black people are hoes?
Dan: No. I’m saying the mentality associated with luxury, with aspiration – has to do with things people can’t afford.”
Check out the full video below!