Dapper Dan

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  • Fashion Innovator
  • Author, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem

A New York Times bestselling author and global fashion icon with a remarkable rags to riches story, Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s with his eponymous store on 125th Street. Co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail, Dapper Dan first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, who flocked to him thanks to his strong street reputation as a legendary professional gambler and dandy. He then went on to outfit the world’s top entertainers and celebrities, all leading to his notoriety. 

Dapper Dan’s incredible personal journey from a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, to a teen who gambled drug dealers out of their money, to a beloved legend in the worlds of Harlem, fashion, and hip hop, is chronicled in his New York Times bestseller, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. It’s also a story that inspires and resonates with audiences worldwide. In his empowering and riveting remarks, Dapper Dan highlights the importance of tenacity, curiosity, and determination to make ones wildest dreams a reality.

 

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A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Dapper Dan
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • The Museum at FIT
  • Business of Fashion
  • Saint Louis Fashion Fund
Fashion designer Dapper Dan's rags to riches story - Get Sharable Link
Explore Dapper Dan's Talks

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Diversity and Inclusion in the Fashion Industry

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Fashion Design and Fashion Technology

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Hip Hop Culture

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African-American Culture and History

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Harlem History and Culture

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Biography

With his eponymous store on 125th Street, Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s, co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail. Known for using exquisite leathers, furs, and other fine materials, he first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, who all came due to his strong street reputation as a legendary professional gambler and dandy. He then went on to outfit entertainers and other celebrities, including Eric B. & Rakim, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Mike Tyson, Missy Elliott, JAY-Z, Beyonce, Aaliyah, P. Diddy, Floyd Mayweather, and many more. Dapper Dan has been featured on platforms including The New York Times, Elle, Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, CNN, and Netflix. His works have been on display at The Smithsonian, The Museum at FIT, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Dapper Dan’s boutique reopened in 2017 in a major partnership with Gucci. His memoir, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem is a New York Times Bestseller.