Dapper Dan On Why Black People Value Luxury Brands Over Black-Owned Brands: “People Want What They Can’t Have!”
The hip-hop community rejoiced when legendary fashion designer, Dapper Dan, was chosen to spearhead his own Gucci capsule collection based on the designs he made for early 80’s rappers, such as Eric B. and Rakim, Salt and Pepa, and LL Cool J. Beyonce recently wore his designs during last summer’s “On the Run II Tour.”
Dan (real name Daniel Day) was also charged with the task of holding Gucci accountable for a controversial turtleneck sweater made to look like Blackface. After many artists, such as T.I., vowed to boycott the brand over the racist design, Dapper Dan held a meeting with brand leaders, spawning a cultural diversity initiative.
The Harlem altier recently sat down with Power 105.1’s “Breakfast Club” to discuss why Black people value luxury brands over Black-owned businesses. Their exchange went like this:
“Charlemagne tha God: Why do you think we value these high-end fashion designers – like the Guccis and whoever else – more than we Black brands? And what can we do to change that?
Dapper Dan: You got a bigger problem than that, man. And I’ll address that, too. When you say, ‘What should we do to change that?’ – it pre-supposes that it needs to be changed. When you say change, do you mean change the element of aspiration that makes us wanna get expensive things? Is that what you’re talkin’ ’bout? Or are you just saying, ‘Walk away from these expensive brands?'”
— The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) July 11, 2019
“Charlamagne: I’m not saying, ‘Walk away.’ I’m just saying there can be some Gucci shades that you’re wearing right now on a table, and it can be some shades by a Black designer that look the same, same quality, same material, same everything – and the person’ll pick the Gucci. Why is that? How do we put the value on our stuff?
Dan: It’s what I call the Pimp Program. When you see a pimp, he’s all dressed up [and] fly – he’s more attractive. People want what they can’t get.
Charlamagne: So you sayin’ Black people are hoes?
Dan: No. I’m saying the mentality associated with luxury, with aspiration – has to do with things people can’t afford.”
Watch Dapper Dan’s entire “Breakfast Club” interview below.
Written by Miata Shanay