The haberdasher, model and author has dressed A-list clients including Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Billy Porter.
Fashion designer and model Dapper Dan (née Daniel R. Day), recently known for his collaborations with Gucci, has signed with WME for television and film, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. He previously was with UTA.
Nicknamed Dancing Danny as a child, Day is the fourth-born son among seven children and first made a living as a professional gambler. A hustler gave him the moniker Dapper Dan when he was a teenager. Since 1982, when he opened the doors of Dapper Dan’s Boutique in Harlem, Day has been on the forefront of luxe streetwear, reinventing luxury brand logo pieces with his own unique twist (such as a Louis Vuitton garment bag transformed into a suit). He became known for his statement, upscale leather and fur jackets, emblazoned with a signature Swarovski crystal “Dapper Dan” appliqué on the back.
After shuttering in 1992 due to litigation spurred by his use of luxury brand logos, the shop and atelier Dapper Dan’s of Harlem reopened in Sept. 2017 in partnership with Gucci, which has released a series of Dapper Dan-Gucci capsule collections of apparel, footwear and accessories.
Last July, Day released his memoir, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem ($28, Random House), co-authored with writer Mikael Awake, which hit the The New York Times best-seller list. A Sony biopic, an adaptation of the memoir by Jerrod Carmichael, is reportedly in the works with Day and his son, brand manager Jelani Day, signed on as executive producers. “It’s going to be a format like Forrest Gump; that way, it can bring in all the different changes in my life,” Day told THR last July.
Known as the godfather of hip-hop fashion, Dapper Dan’s designs were first worn by New York City hustlers; soon, he drew a star following including Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa, Mike Tyson, Sean Combs and Beyoncé.
At the 2019 Met Ball last May, Regina Hall, Ashley Graham, Karlie Kloss and 21 Savage all wore custom Dapper Dan-Gucci designs. Most recently, at the New York premiere of Like a Boss on Jan. 7, Billy Porter donned a custom Dapper Dan-Gucci gold floral jacquard vest with bee detailing; while Lizzo wore a custom Dapper Dan-Gucci trench coat dress with brown patent leather details and web trim for her Dec. 21 performance on Saturday Night Live.
Dapper Dan continues to be represented by attorney Todd Weinstein at Del Shaw Moonves and remains represented by IMG Models across all other categories.