For many streetwear aficionados, logo-emblazoned looks and oversize B-boy gear have given way to Italian-cut suits and leather skirts. But, who’s the culprit? According to Daniel Day, known to most style enthusiasts as Dapper Dan — the man who brought remixed logos of luxury brands uptown — the blame lies with self-described “fashion killa” A$AP Rocky. The rapper and Harlem native recently described his look as “Richard Porter mixed with Mr. Porter,” referring to the notorious mid-’80s Harlem drug kingpin and former customer of Dapper Dan’s, and to the highbrow men’s digital fashion mecca. But of late, his style has leaned much more toward the latter — perhaps with an assist from Harry Potter.
At last night’s premiere of Fresh Dressed, a documentary about the history of hip-hop fashion that features Nas and Pharrell Williams, Dapper Dan said, “The biggest challenge to traditional Harlem fashion right now is A$AP Rocky, because he caused a shift. I have never seen it move so far from the traditional look as it is now. That’s really something to examine. And the feedback that I’m getting from the streets is that the style is really almost shocking to some. Harlem fashion was generated from the guys on the corner who had no problem balling like certain entertainers.”