How about Sundays Dapper Dan, Harlem Haberdasher

You’ll never see Daniel Day, known as Dapper Dan among fashionistas, in sweatpants. “Today, I wanted to go get coffee, I can’t even do that,” said Mr. said the day “Wherever people see me, I have to be dressed. This kills me, man.

His interest, or his vocation, some might argue, to always favor the outside world goes back to his teenage years. “I refused to go to school unless I was well,” said Mr. Day, a designer, entrepreneur and famous Harlem resident who still walks around the old high school on 116th Street that he used to drop off regularly to roll dice.

His style has wowed people in Harlem and beyond since his seminal store, Dapper Dan’s Boutique, opened there in 1982. Over the next decade, the store garnered attention both ways (when customers highlights like Salt-N-Pepa and Jay). -Z came calling) and not-so-good manners (when part of his vision was to incorporate luxury logos into his own designs, which led to multiple police raids on his store and a trademark infringement lawsuit).

But the tables have turned. Gucci is collaborating with Dapper Dan, logo and all. And The Gap asked him to design multiple hoodie collections, the latest featuring houndstooth and tartan-style prints modeled after his signature suits.

“This gives me an opportunity to destigmatize the piece, to elevate it,” said Mr. said the day “I was thinking about Trayvon Martin and the stigma still attached to a minority wearing a hoodie.”

Mr. Day, 78, lives in Harlem with his wife of 54 years, June Francis, not far from his appointment-only workshop on 122nd Street, with its windows framed in slick green paint.

SOCIAL CHURCH One of my favorite things to do is go to churches. You see everyone dressed up as they were back in the day. The two most popular in the community: Abyssinian Baptist Church and Daddy Grace is on Eighth Avenue, also called The United House of Prayer for All People. I prefer Daddy Grace’s because it has the kitchen upstairs. Go upstairs and sit down, you know? I’m not going to the preaching part, because I knew that stories about the preachers of the 1950s. I go after the sermons, when they start serving the food. Upstairs in the cafeteria, there are all these southern people, like my mom was. Pretty good niggas, they’re up there. everyone talking A true southern feel.

WALK After the church cafeteria, that’s when I start walking around, looking for someone interesting. Start at the brownstone in my workshop, go down the two blocks I call Little Africa (others call it the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market.) All you see are Africans and African businesses two blocks down 116th Street. I could see the my Senegalese friend Mustafa in his clothing store. In the beginning, in the 80s, he was one of my tailors.

SARTORIAL MENTOR Yes, I am trying to do things with young Africans from the same Wolof tribe as Mustafa. They are getting into trouble, just like African Americans, with drugs and high school dropouts like me. So I go down to 116 to be seen. I often bring my assistant, Bara, whose father is also from Senegal. Open a window to be different. My intention is to get them, little by little, to wear dresses. Clothes have a power that transcends social and economic lines. But I have to make it exciting. It got bad there.

BODY, MIND Oh, what I didn’t say: every day, all day when I’m at home, when I’m not reading, I’m all news, all the time. MSNBC. Every day. It’s only Monday, but Rachel Maddow is my number one. Don’t write that, though: Black people will be mad at me. I put it on right after my workout. As soon as I get up in the morning, I do the stretches. Both legs. Every day. And my deep knee bends. Then I’ll walk across my room 25 times. Ride my exercise bike for about five minutes. However, I don’t turn on the news while doing my exercises. Because it will steal your mind.

MELBA’S Then I’m thinking about where I’m going to eat. Every Sunday, June goes to Melba’s. Right now, Melba’s is sundays My great-grandchildren, I have eight children, you know, dancing in the front, in the street. I’m vegetarian so I have baked macaroni and cabbage. And Melba has these mushrooms. So I have some mushrooms. Always see Melba there. The most popular African American restaurant in the world is Silvia’s. Melba is Sylvia’s niece.

MOVE Now I’ll look for a place to go dancing. My favorite place for years and years is The Market at 116 and the park. But for everyone in the whole salsa community, Jimmy Anton’s is the number one site for Sunday. At 6pm, it’s for people like me who like to dance, but don’t drink. That’s why many venues close, because they only charge admission. Big problem with many Latin clubs. Not the Dominican clubs, because they drink. A lot.

FACING THE FUTURE Try to get home early from Jimmy. I like to be in bed no later than 12, because my Sunday starts around 4 in the morning. You get these thoughts at 4 or 5 and then start texting my assistant, Bara. Brainstorming. It’s like I uploaded the things that happened on Saturday and now I know how I want to continue. On my pillow right now is “Voice of the Leopard.” It is related to my trip to Nigeria last month when I started researching Sankofa symbols. That’s my real focus right now, because from now on, my clothes will be wearing non-European symbols. Moving away from Euro symbols. Therefore, always sending messages to the Bara.

Sunday Routine readers can follow Dapper Dan on Instagram @dapperdanharlem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *