Dapper Dan’s affect on fashion can’t be denied. We get a better insight into what makes him tick in a new interview.
High Snobiety did a profile on the iconic tailor prior to him releasing his memoir Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. The fashion site sat down with him and got him to detail his perspective on several aspects of life including his historic hometown, influencing Hip-Hop fashion, his take on music, breakfast, the deal with Gucci and more.
On A$AP Ferg
“I mentored his father, and after he passed away, I’d never seen the son [A$AP Ferg] since he was very little. One day I’m going to the store across from my house, and I see these guys jump out of the car. One walks over and tells me his father had told him all about me and that he’s been looking for me for two years. This was like four years ago. We’ve been together virtually every chance we got since then.”
On The Beatles
“The Beatles are really big to me, and I talk about them a lot because they’re the height of rock and roll. Appropriation in a good sense is what the Beatles did. They took all musical platform sand challenged the social standard of European culture. And that’s the message. The Beatles went into India and brought back the Maharishi. Deepak Chopra, who is the extension of that, teaches that philosophy today, but the Beatles initiated that.”
“Pancakes are amazing. I always get upset about pancakes because they’re easy to mess up. But the pancakes I ate last night were really, really thin and perfect. It’s 4 a.m. in the morning and I can’t sleep because I’m reading, and these pancakes were so perfect that I had to text [my grand kids] and tell them how amazing these pancakes with syrup were. After I ate them, I felt like I could speak Italian. But this morning I was upset because I was looking forward to the pancakes again, so I had ordered them again but they were too thick. I said the chef must have taken the day off today.”
“Inclusivity is that which goes beyond tokenism. Inclusivity and cultural inclusion have to create an opportunity that levels the playing field. So when you come in there’s got to be room for you to expand and room for you to grow based on your ability. I don’t want nobody buying anything that I made because I’m black, I want it to be because of the idea. On the other side of the fence, I don’t want anyone taking my ideas without them allowing me to make something of it.”
On Cultural Appropriation
“The infusion of cultures has allowed us to have an appreciation for all cultures across the playing field. The biggest problem comes when you have people who don’t understand symbols. Something isn’t just [a button] it’s much bigger than that. I don’t see how [people] could miss it, they just don’t think about it. Whether it’s either a cross or the star of David, all these symbols have a powerful effect, so you have to understand that people take symbols very seriously.”
You can read the Q&A in its entirety here.
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Airbnb