LOGOMANIA: A Streetwear and High Fashion Duo By Dapper Dan that Paved the Way for Luxury Brands
A fashion trend where an article of clothing is filled with a repetitive pattern of a brand's monogrammed logos.
Logomania is a fashion trend that shows it’s presence on many popular designer items such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Dior. This trend has been popular since it first saw the light in the 1980’s. However, due to the Y2K (Year 2000) aesthetic coming back to style, the rise of consumerism and “flex culture”, it is now skyrocketing. People from a mile a way can recognize a brand by the repetitive label that covers the garment. Not only is logomania a great way to advertise a brand but the versatility of the trend allows one to wear it in a multitude of ways. You can rock this trend by wearing logomania accented pieces or go all out and wear it head to toe. Going forward, it’s important to know the mastermind behind this creative movement: Dapper Dan.
It all started in Harlem, New York where Daniel Day, also known as Dapper Dan opened up his boutique on East 125th street. His attempts at being a wholesaler failed due to blatant prejudice being expressed towards him in his area. Not only did people refuse to do business with him, but they refused to provide him with the materials he needed such as fur and textiles. In efforts to overcome this obstacle, Day learned the ins and outs of the fashion industry. Doing this aided Day with the freedom to independently create his own work of art. He used logo prints from high end brands such as Gucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton to create enhanced car interiors, clothing items, boxing gloves and any other items that one can use to express their personal style. Another creative act that he pursued was taking apart logomania printed bags to turn them into clothing pieces. To call Day’s work a “knock-off” would be disrespectful in his eyes. Dapper Dan believed that the luxury feel, creativity and affordable prices that his pieces provided aligned more with the term “knock-ups”.
(left) Dapper Dan’s boutique on East 125th Street in Harlem, New York. (right) Dapper Dan on the left with LL Cool J on the right wearing a custom-made Gucci Jacket in 1986. Source: Unknown
During the rise of hip-hop and an unfortunate crack-cocaine epidemic, Dapper Dan’s 24-hour boutique was the place to be. It is impossible to deny the fact that Dapper Dan gifted rap culture with their own signature style. Famous figures such as LLCoolJ, Jam Master Jay, and Mike Tyson were a few of Day’s most loyal customers. They helped Dapper Dan break the social constraints that were embedded within their communities.
In 1982, Dapper Dan’s boutique was shut down due to trademark infringement issues. However, his journey did not end there. Over 30 years later, Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele showed the world a jacket that was inspired by Day’s work. He wanted the world to know who initiated such a creative movement. This jacket alone was enough to restore Dapper Dan’s career. He began to be rightfully acknowledged as the “king” of logomania and the blueprint for fashion in hip-hop culture. People all around the world can see his designs on red carpets, music videos, films and magazine pages. In fact, he became so big that the brands that were trying to sue him, were longing to be his partner.
Dapper Dan couldn’t have predicted that logomania would have an enormous impact on fashion. Rightfully so, the epic streetwear and high fashion duo has disrupted the fashion industry and gave them a run for their money.
Day has successfully created something so powerful that it ignites positive feelings of wealth and class in others. Because of him, both high end and fast fashion brands incorporate logomania to their upcoming collections. Even to this day, Day has been collaborating with Gucci to create more legendary pieces inspired by archives from the 80’s. His work has been seen on popular artists such as A$AP Rocky, Saweetie, Regina Hall and more! So, before you put on your monogrammed printed Gucci Crystal Socks or your Dior Oblique Embroidery Saddle Bag , never forget who paved the way for you to wear it in the first place.
Dapper Dan Website: https://dapperdanofharlem.com
Studio Address: 35 E. 125th Street
Accolades: 1st True Luxury Brand/Store Opened in Harlem, Published the book Dapper Dan Made in Harlem: A Memoir