The originator behind Gucci’s viral Resort ’18 look

After seasons of charming the fashion world with his maximalist decadence, Alessandro Michele is no stranger to making headlines. Under his helm, the house of Gucci has experienced a sartorial renaissance worthy of an Italian crown, with celebrities and cool kids alike clamoring for his bedazzled creations. His meteoric rise is largely lionized by the industry, but his Resort ’18 collection has the designer under fire. With an epic 115 looks, the show blended his signature references of neo-classical opulence, poetic slogans, and flashy streetwear. One could spend days decoding the inspirations behind each ensemble, but Look #33 stole the show – literally – and has been blowing up media feeds ever since.

If Michele thought the mink bomber with colossal GG-logo sleeves would go unnoticed, he was very wrong. Worn by black model Alana Henry, decked-out in bling, oversized glasses, and acid-washed jeans, front-rowers had instant déja-vu of Harlem virtuoso ‘Dapper Dan’. Referred to by many as the King of Hip-Hop Fashion, Dapper Dan’s Boutique on 125th Street birthed the bootleg aesthetic that defined 80’s hip-hop culture. The legendary hustler re-appropriated the logos of European fashion houses, and ‘blackenized’ them in a way that spoke to his high-end hustling audience. Having created custom pieces for Salt-n-Pepa, LL Cool J, and Mike Tyson to name a few, owning a Dapper Dan piece meant you’d “made it” amongst the rappers, dealers and black athletes of the day.

Gucci’s referenced piece in question was a custom jacket made in 1988 for Olympic Medalist Diane Dixon. It’s an instantly recognizable photo, and in the hypersensitive political climate we live in, the swagger-jacking accusations did not come gently. After an onslaught of overnight criticism, the house released a statement via Instagram, admitting paying homage to “legendary tailor Dapper Dan” with the now infamous piece. One can only hope that Michele’s snafu will benefit the OG and bring increased endowment of his novelty designs. Alessandro frequently collabs with emerging artists on special projects – from Gucci Ghost to the houses’ latest Insta memes – using the enormity of his platform to shed light on young creatives.  If he’d had the same foresight to commissioning Dan, presumably his idea would’ve been far better received. While Dapper Dan has yet to respond directly, if his Instagram bio “the original” gives any indication, he wears his hustler badge with pride.

 

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