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Dapper Dan Talks Lack Of Black-Owned Luxury Fashion Brands, Gucci Boycott

Dapper Dan sat down with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club Thursday (July 11) to talk about his fashion legacy, the Gucci boycott, and the lack of black-owned fashion luxury fashion brands.

On the subject of his personal fashion influence, the 74-year-old designer discussed his rise to fame as one of Harlem’s most popular fashion figures whose influence can be felt in hip-hop culture and beyond, and why he ended up linking with Gucci after the company was called out for seemingly knocking off his designs. According to Dan, Gucci did for him what other copycat brands wouldn’t do.

“Gucci comes and they say everybody’s paying homage to Dapper Dan but nobody’s paying him. We gon’ change that. We gon’ allow you to do what you’ve always done in Harlem and we’re going to do a partnership and you get a percentage of that globally,” he explained. “I could never get that. That’s my foothold.”

Speaking on the most recent Gucci boycott, which was spawned a by sweater design resembling blackface and championed by T.I. and Spike Lee, Dan surmised that black consumers gained nothing from speaking out against the company.

“Don’t tell me there’s any organization in the world that don’t have a number of people who are racist because we don’t hear them say it, that don’t mean it ain’t happening,” he began. “So forget that part, let’s look at what can we get out of this? This will be the first boycott black people have ever had in America that we get zero results. That is too damn stupid. You walk away because you’re insulted and you end up with zero? You can’t be no hero like that.”

While speaking on the boycott, Dan mentioned Gucci’s Change Makers Program, which was announced earlier this year amid growing backlash. He went on to share a theory about why black-owned brands aren't placed on the same level as Gucci and other European luxury designers, and what drives consumers to pricey products.

“It’s what I call the pimp program. When you see a pimp he’s all dressed up, fly, he’s more attractive. People want what they can’t get. The mentality associated with luxury, with aspiration, has to do with things people cant afford.”

On the topic of why black people put more value on Gucci than black-owned brands he added, “Our culture is very powerful so if we want a luxury brand we have to have distribution that’s powerful enough that we can get our brands in [other] countries.”

As for black consumers putting more value on white-owed brands he replied, “That’s an individual choice but I’m not going after what we buy. I’m not going to argue with black people in Harlem or [anywhere in] the U.S., about whether you want to buy luxury. No! Our culture is so powerful and selling around the world, I want to get to where they selling it at.

“We are the influencers and our ability to influence goes around the world,” Dan continued. “I’m not just concentrating on just getting this black money here. Why I can’t get that global money if I [have] that global culture?”

When asked if he could have used his influence to transform Sean Jean, Phat Farm and other black-owned fashion companies into internationally dominate brands he noted that he's always “thinking global” but pointed out that he didn't have the capital. “If we [black people] had a sustainable economy that can support a luxury brand I wouldn’t have to be here.”

Dan also spoke about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, his travels to Africa, and stressed the need for black people in fashion to “learn about the dynamics” of larger brands “so we can later run these businesses and these businesses are able to sustain themselves.”

Watch the full interview below.

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Jennifer Lopez Hits Versace Runway In Updated Version Of Grammys Dress

Jennifer Lopez slipped back into a familiar looks for a surprise appearance at the Versace Spring-Summer 2020 fashion show in Milan Friday (Sept. 20). The Hustlers star blazed the stage in a remake of the legendary Versace dress that she wore to the Grammys nearly two decades ago.

The updated rendition sticks to the leafy green chiffon jungle-pattern, although it differs slightly from the original. Lopez left little to the imagination in the sleeveless ensemble complete with a deeply plunging neckline and an open back cut down to her derrière. The long flowy dress is cut at the hip area allowing Lopez to show off her toned legs as she strutted down the runway.

Lopez was already rumored to make an appearance at the show as she was spotted around Milan this week, The Cut reports. The invitation provided another clue to her attendance with a flip book and the Google search topic: “Versace women’s ss 2020.” The Google search is significant since Lopez’s Grammy dress essentially created Google Images (so many people were searching the site for her dress that developers were inspired to introduce a specific section of the search engine decided to photos).

Lopez first donned the sheer floral barely there Versace dress at the 42nd annual Grammy awards which she attended with Diddy, who was her boyfriend at the time.

See photos of both dresses below.

 

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For the Spring-Summer 2020 Collection, Versace honors an iconic moment when fashion and culture became a catalyst for technological progress. Passionate for constant innovation, Chief Creative Officer, @donatella_versace uses the latest technology – the Google Assistant – to call for @jlo wearing the Jungle dress on the runway, creating yet another unforgettable, Google-worthy Versace moment. #MFW #VersaceSS20

A post shared by Versace (@versace) on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:50pm PDT

 

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Debuting in the Spring-Summer 2000 Collection, the Jungle print dress worn by @jlo at the Grammy Awards that year, garnered international attention. Millions of people took to the internet to see Jennifer in the legendary dress, making it one the most popular search queries for Google at the time. The epic red-carpet look, and the excitement it created, inspired the team to create Google Images. This season Versace and Google collaborate to celebrate twenty years of the legendary moment in both fashion and Google history. #VersaceSS20 #MFW

A post shared by Versace (@versace) on Sep 20, 2019 at 1:34pm PDT

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Ben Gabbe

Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Fashion Show Makes Its Amazon Prime Debut

Rihanna is raising the bar again! The singer-turned-fashion and makeup mogul pulled out all the stops for the Savage X Fenty New York Fashion Week presentation, which debuted on Amazon Prime Video Friday (Sept. 20).

Rih Rih’s fashion presentation was a unique experience and Amazon Prime viewers got a digital front-row seat to the action. The show went down on September 10 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and fused music and fashion as Rihanna, and a bevy of background dancers, set the tone with choreographed movements courtesy of her “sprit animal,” choreographer, Parris Goebel. The fashion event also included performances from Normani, Big Sean, Janelle Monae, Fat Joe and more.

RIHANNA IS BACK ON STAGE. THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR #SAVAGEXFENTYSHOW #SavageXFenty pic.twitter.com/PacWm2yv8T

— Gregory Fenty Ranchester (@GregFentyRanch) September 20, 2019

Savage x Fenty may be considered a freshman lingerie brand but it has already become a strong competitor for the likes of Victoria’s Secret. Rihanna's company recently secured $50 million in funding from investors bringing its total investments to approximately $70 million.

The 31-year-old Grammy winner has since jetted off to South Korea to promote Fenty Beauty after a busy week in New York, where she hosted her annual Diamond Ball last Thursday (Sept. 12). The charity ball raised a reported $5 million for Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation.

Click here to watch the Savage X Fenty fashion show.

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Rihanna performs onstage during Savage X Fenty Show Presented By Amazon Prime Video - Show Sneak Peak at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video

Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Show Creates An Inclusive Silhouette For All

No matter your shape, size or physical ability, sexiness can be achieved. It's a mantra retail corporations have pushed but with Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Show in New York this week, it was a smoldering reality.

On Tuesday (Sept. 10) Brooklyn's Barclays Center was flipped into the entertainers' lair filled with 32 flavors of what womxn really look like. Thick thighs, ambassadors of the #littlebootiesmatter movement and members of the LGBTQ+ community sashayed across the stage in a confident spirit only Rihanna can conjure.

The second annual show took their talents to a new level by partnering with Amazon Prime to film the show. Cameramen jumped to the stage every now and then to catch models like Joan Smalls, Bella Hadid and performers Halsey, Big Sean and Tierra Whack. But the theatrics also matched the energy the models exuded–dominant, sweet, flirty and most of all assertive. It's a behavior assumed to be behind closed dungeon doors and for women who keep up Eurocentric beauty standards.

With Savage x Fenty, those stereotypes are thrown out the window. The brand has done well in that market. It's why it makes it the perfect segway into the next generation of lingerie brands. Critics have used their most witty phrases to compare the event to Victoria's Secret Fashion Show but as fans will see Sept. 20, nothing is like Savage x Fenty.

Their mission of inclusion didn't stop at the beautiful bodies and negligees on stage. The music paid homage to the hot girls we've loved before (Tweet, Eve) as well as dancehall riddims and Latinx house music.

As Rihanna continues to dominate the fashion/beauty industry (her LVMH collab, Fenty Beauty) the Savage x Fenty show will be just one of the many moments in fashion history we'll revisit.

Before the big reveal next week, see how it all went down from inside the event below.

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7:35 pm: The Dean Street entrance to Barclays Center looks like the outside of a club. There are models, rappers and fans who printed out fake barcodes to get in. After a few minutes of starting at the "Standing Line" section, I realize I'm in the wrong line.

7:40 pm: Doors aren't opening until 8:00 pm, so I get to enjoy some fresh air while checking out influencers wrapped in glitter and baby doll lingerie. Perhaps it shows what's to come this evening.

8:00 pm: The doors have officially opened. Like noted in the email, phones were placed into uber-secure YONDR pouches. I'm not mad at it all. With Amazon filming the show, it's only right that the audience is immersed in the experience.

8:13 pm: Sections aren't open yet but the red carpet is. Hip-hop is in the building (early) thanks to Migos, Big Sean and newcomer CHIKA.

8:16 pm: Some guests are starting to look uneasy without their phones. I’m so glad watches are still a thing–shouts to Casio, specifically A$AP Ferg’s collaboration design I rocked.

8:23 pm: In the bathroom and a favorable viral group comes in with plenty to say. “It's funny how celebrities act like they don’t nobody but they see everybody. Like, I know you see me." I feel you sis.

8:40 pm: Was asked to say hello to Rihanna on her Savage x Fenty Insta and totally fumbled it.

I let Rihanna down. 

8:54 pm: We're finally able to enter the show. The stage set up is a perfect combination of MC Escher stairs and gloomy Roman windows with a minimalistic twist.

Spotted: Bronx rapper Maliibu Miitch in a cozy fur, country star Kasey Musgraves in a perfect green fit, Chanel Iman and Ashley Graham with their mom glow as well as R&B duo LionBabe.

9:10 pm:  There’s a lady with a very big feathery hat sitting below me, she smells good.

9:20 pm:  Wow, it’s Dascha Polanco.

9:45 pm: Now that we're all seated, the DJ slows down the tunes and lights turn down low. It's starting.

9:46 pm:  Rihanna is front and center as ten dancers of all sizes flex (and look comfy) in black lingerie. The choreography is on point. The ladies are busting out their best bruk wine to the audience's delight.

9:47 pm:  The Savage looks are separated by color. Plenty of dancers and influencers hit the experimental runway. Bella Hadid looks too cute as she waves at the camera.

9:49 pm: Big Sean comes out (with his abs) and performs "Clique" before jumping into "Bezerk" with A$AP Ferg.

9:51: Blue and yellow bring us into the next phase of the show, paired with a sexy deep mix of Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My).” Cara Delevingne gets everyone in line and I love it.

9:54 pm: Red is the vibe and 21 Savage looks so happy in his blue steel walk. Women dominate the stage with accessories but one can help but appreciate how inclusive the show is. Short, tall, curvy, petite and people with disabilities are owning the stage.

9:56 pm: Laverne Cox came out of nowhere and just bodied her walk! It's a moment fans will truly adore. Tens across the board.

9:57 pm:  Migos perform “Pure Water”... in pure water. The pool is small and the guys seem to be unbothered by it. Shouts to their socks.

 

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A post shared by Migos (@migos) on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:01am PDT

10:03 pm: My handwriting goes to s**t once Normani takes the stage. Her moment makes me feel at ease about copping the new collection.

10:06 pm: I'd like to give props to the musical director. The blend of Wiley's "Boasty" and Eve's "Who's The Girl" is giving me life.

10:11 pm: It's time for another performance! DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Fabolous take the stage but as predicted, Tierra Whack shines the brightest.

10:18 pm: Lace caps, sheer pants are the move in the lingerie game and I’m with it.

10:20 pm: Queen Rihanna comes out to a standing ovation. If she didn't walk away, I'm sure we would have clapped all night.

Spotted on the way out: Dave East, Mack Wilds, VIBE cover stars Naturi Houghton and Lala Anthony, Rapsody, Misa Hylton, Monica, Kehlani (who photographers couldn't get enough of) and actor Jharrel Jerome.

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