What is it?
A limited-edition line of hoodies and an almost 20-piece collection from designer and fashion legend Dapper Dan, who has reworked the all-caps Gap logo on the classic arch hoodie to read “DAP” — a nod to his history of remixing designer logos and materials to create something fresh.
Do I need this?
Yes! And our advice would be to add to cart swiftly. Why? Most recently, we saw Kanye West create what he called the “perfect hoodie” for Yeezy Gap x Balenciaga. That cut wasn’t perfect for everyone, but this one may actually be.
Daniel Day, better known as Dapper Dan, is a Harlem legend. Using luxury fabrics to create custom, logo-heavy work, he quickly gained a client base of stars, such as Sean Combs, LL Cool J, hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, and Missy Elliott. By the ’90s, luxury houses started suing Dan for his creative use of their brand identities, forcing him to shut down his shop on 125th Street. Years later, after Gucci copied one of his designs (talk about coming full circle), the company partnered with him on an atelier in Harlem, where he still works.
We met Dapper Dan inside the Harlem Gap store, where the line of people waiting outside wrapped down 125th Street. Wearing the brown houndstooth from the latest collaboration and a yellow Dap jacket that no one else has he says, “Whenever I think of Harlem, I think of earth tones because we’re earthy people and we come in earth tones.” The collection also features colors like gray and black and stripes and color blocks, a nod to one of his idols, Ralph Lauren. “ I like the whole classic appeal of it, I can see that on someone from my street to Wall Street.”
What started two years ago with the Dap logo hoodie has grown into a full-fledged collection of Dap logo pieces. But the hoodie is still a central piece of the collaboration, “Ever since Trayvon Martin, I’ve always wanted to destigmatize the hoodie.” He explains, “Whenever they see people of color, it’s always seen as something sinister. We can dress it up; we can make it exciting. We can take the hoodie and turn it into a win as opposed to the stigma that is associated with it.” Day’s preferred styling of his hoodie is paired with an ascot or over a button-down shirt, he explains as he shows the popped collar.
Day’s approach to fashion is one of connection and culture. “I went to seven different countries [in Africa], and among the countries there were so many different tribes; the culture was universal but everybody has their own twist. Fashion and music are two sides of the same coin.” Reflecting on hip-hop and culture in America, he sees the same parallels across the country from New York to Atlanta to L.A. “How do you bring all the tribes together? Something transcends fashion, and that’s the person who has passion.”
The people he’s most excited to dress are the ones waiting outside the Gap store, his community, which is why he says his next step is working on his own line. Logomania, he explains, was just a stepping stone and he’s ready to claim his own symbols.
How do I get it?
If you weren’t one of the many lucky fans who met Dapper Dan at the Harlem Gap store and acquired a hoodie, fear not: They’ll be available online. Mark your calendars for December 5 at 12 p.m. ET, when the collection will launch globally. The first two drops showed us that can be tough (they sold out in minutes). With all this buzz, resellers and bots will be set to scoop these up for a profit. While Instagram users and stans are skeptical, though there are many flame emojis in response to the news, it seems quite a few fans were able to get a hoodie during the third drop. If you’re willing to search, you might even have a good chance of grabbing it in the store.
What are people saying?
During the second drop in March, the internet had a sea of people fawning over the salmon-color hoodie, determined to get their hands on the collaboration. This time around, people are spreading the word so the surprise drop doesn’t fly under the radar.
Did anyone actually get it the first two times?
No surprise: This highly anticipated collaboration sold out very, very quickly. The “DAP” logo hoodie, which launched March 10 at 4 p.m., had, as many Twitter users claim, sold out immediately. Twitter users say at 4 p.m. on the dot, the hoodie wasn’t available on Gap’s website at all, though a select few were able to get it into their carts before it was removed. The question now is, did anyone get one? Fans are quick to blame resellers and bots, since it seems like the only person who did get it is reselling it for $500. We’ve reached out to Gap for comment, “The support received from Dan’s following has been remarkable, and we can confirm that the hoodie has completely sold out, though unfortunately am unable to disclose any further information at this time.”
This post has been updated.