Gucci Size X-Large
Vintage 80's Gucci Inspired Bootleg T-Shirt
Three decades ago, when Daniel Day opened a small shop in Harlem, he wanted to sell furs. He was a popular guy in the neighborhood, known as Dapper Dan, so he called his store Dapper Dan’s Boutique. He read every book he could find about the fur trade, because he wanted to offer his customers higher-quality coats than other Harlem shops were selling. People started asking for designer jackets, and when Day couldn’t buy them from the European fashion houses, he resolved to make his own. In secret, he found a way to print name-brand designs onto high-quality leather, using huge silkscreens and special paint.
Dapper Dan’s versions of Louis Vuitton and Gucci weren’t exactly bootlegs, though; the logos were borrowed (that is, stolen), but the designs were entirely his. If you bought a Fendi short set from him, maybe you would have known that it wasn’t an authentic Fendi product. But what mattered was that it was an authentic Dapper Dan product—in some circles, his name was more important than the names on the clothes.
This was the crack era, and some of his best customers were drug dealers—they had the money to pay for Day’s creations, and the nerve to wear them. After Alberto “Alpo” Martinez wore a knee-length, Louis Vuitton-print leather jacket from Dapper Dan, people started calling it “the Alpo coat.” As rappers adopted Dapper Dan’s creations, his reputation spread internationally: he created the regal faux-Gucci jackets that Eric B. and Rakim wore on the cover of their first two records, and he put LL Cool J in colorful leather suits. Almost by accident, Dapper Dan helped invent hip-hop fashion, influencing many of the same fashion houses whose logos he once appropriated.