Dapper Dan is one of fashion’s most legendary names, and the celebrated designer continues to innovate and stay inspired over four decades into his career. He revolutionized fashion in the 80s and 90s and pioneered logomania, but the Harlem style icon is still innovating. Her latest venture is a collaboration with Puma, which will be released October 29 on Kith.com and in Kith stores around the world, after debuting at the New York Fashion Week runway in September.
“Not only is it [inclusivity] the right thing to do, but this. . . brings more energy to a brand, so I’m glad to see that happening now. I hope people realize that this is something that can bring us all together.”
“Apart from being exciting, Puma has a lot of history with my community,” Dapper Dan recently told POPSUGAR during a Zoom call. “For me, being able to do that from a fashion perspective adds so much more texture to the culture.”
The designer describes the four-piece capsule collection, which features a specially crafted logo, as “luxury meets leisure” fused with fierce energy. “I come from an aggressive community. I always attack established, iconoclastic ideas and brands, so I told them that Puma [logo] should be fierce, in attack mode,” he says.
Dapper Dan also wants to de-stigmatize activewear like hoodies, which are unfairly criminalized. “When you take the athleisure and all that sporty look and elevate it, it gives it a better sense of class and elevation and takes away a lot of the stigma that comes with it,” he says. . “That’s why when I wear sportswear, I like to wear it with a neckerchief or a silk scarf to show people…that it could be upstairs too.”
While the designer has created a collection that will no doubt have fans lining up around the block, the line is also deeply personal, as it represents a subject Dapper Dan is passionate about: the democratization of fashion. “You either grow up or you die, and democracy allows [the former]“, he says. “So inclusiveness and diversity is necessary, otherwise you pit different segments of society against each other. [others]. He continues, “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it monetizes a brand and brings more energy to a brand, so I’m glad to see that happening now. I hope people realize that this is something that can bring us all together.”
Ahead of the collection’s October 29 release exclusively at Kith, Dapper Dan talks about his relationship with June Ambrose, the longevity of logomania, his dream collaboration, and more. Keep scrolling for the full interview.