In what may be a first, a Gucci billboard has sprung up on the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in the dead center of Harlem. The ad features Harlem design legend Dapper Dan on the neighborhood's streets, part of a series shot by Glen Luchford for Gucci's fall/winter men's tailoring collection.
Of course, if you've been following all the drama that went on between Gucci and Dapper Dan this past year, the billboard might not come as such a surprise.
The short version: Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele designed a puffy-shouldered jacket for the brand's cruise collection that looked an awful lot like something Dapper Dan designed in the late '80s.
There was instant outrage on behalf of Dapper Dan. But Michele deflected any accusations of copying by calling it an "homage."
The two creatives then patched things up and agreed to collaborate. The first result is the ad campaign we're seeing now. Up next is a by-appointment Dapper Dan studio somewhere in Harlem, which is supposed to open before the end of the year.
The third collaboration is a capsule collection that will be sold in Gucci boutiques next spring. Stay tuned–and keep watching Dapper Dan's blog.