NEW YORK — Dapper Dan is hoping to score a touchdown with his newest partnership.
The Harlem-based fashion designer — renowned for creating custom, luxury brand logo-clad garments — has partnered with Pepsi on a special capsule to coincide with the start of the NFL season, which kicks off this week.
On Wednesday, the beverage giant announced its collaboration on the limited-edition collection as part of Pepsi’s season-long “Made for Football Watching” campaign that encourages football fans to binge-watch NFL games.
“This partnership with Pepsi is like super amazing, mostly because we’re doing it here in Harlem,” the 77-year-old haberdasher told the Daily News from his 122nd St. atelier. “We are initiating it out of Harlem and this is always great for my community… and I’m excited about being able to do what I usually do.”
The capsule includes a handmade lounger – which Dapper Dan referred to as a “snuggie” during the interview – a hoodie, bucket hat and collectible Pepsi can all adorned with a specially designed Pepsi x Dapper Dan logo (the Pepsi logo, his initials and his name in big gold letters).
“The snuggie is what excites me the most,” he shared. “We have hoodies as well and I’m really elated about those also. But the snuggies is something I have never done before – this silhouette. And it just says so much about the football season football fans, and it’s so stylish.”
“You think somebody’s getting ready to walk the red carpet with it for fashion weekend,” Dapper Dan continued about the handmade, fleece-lined “lounger” with vegan leather pockets. “So it embraces a whole lot of what I stand for. And as well as what’s going on now, you know, with the fashion industry and with the NFL season starting.”
Officially named “The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule,” the collection dropped Sept. 9 on the websites MadeForFootballWatching.com/DapperDan and MadeForFootballWatching.com where fans can score items for free while supplies last through Sept. 23.
How did the deal come together?
“Some brilliant person at Pepsi said, ‘Look, let’s reach out to Dapper Dan and embrace this idea of logomania with our products,’ and they have an amazing symbol, because, as you know I’m into symbolism, they have amazing logo,” the New York Times best-selling author shared. “And I said, ‘Wow, that would be really catchy to have the Pepsi logo along with the Ds for Dapper Dan. You know, logomania is what I’m known for.”
The capsule is also being promoted through a YouTube video featuring former New York Giant Victor Cruz talking to Dapper Dan about the creation of the collection.
Dapper Dan, whose given name is Daniel R. Day, has a career than spans 35 years.
The former Harlem hustler and big money dice player gained notoriety for creating bold, monogrammed-clad streetwear designs using the logos and insignia of luxury European fashion brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and MCM.
Commonplace among hip-hop heavyweights and high rollers of the New York City 1980s era, his own brand of ghetto fabulous looks experienced a resurgence in the past decade, which ultimately led to a landmark partnership with Gucci (shortly following the company being called out for “plagiarizing” on social media).
Before the father of eight opened his 24-hour boutique on 125th St. in 1982, monogrammed logos were usually found only on high-end designer handbags.
Dapper Dan is the architect of expanding the trend – which he lovingly refers to as “logomania”— that can now be seen among clothing brands Calvin Klein, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty and Kim Kardashian’s KKW – and the high-end fashion companies who criminalized it during its early heyday.
And Pepsi isn’t the only big corporate brand that has taken to the Time 100 2020 honoree’s swagger.
Recently, Pizza Hut launched an apparel line using the streetwear style as inspiration.
Dapper Dan was also tapped to design the attire for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Mattel’s Ken doll.
“I feel great about that because now it gives me a platform with steps to do it, you know, because when you’re doing luxury, and you’re doing only luxury, that leaves out a segment of society,” he said. “But by doing projects like this, where you can do it in layers and reach everybody upstairs and downstairs, that makes me most happy.”
And although the cheapest jacket at the atelier runs $2,700, he said this type of partnership underscores that Dapper Dan isn’t exclusive to the rich and famous.
“It’s not just for the rich and famous,” he stated. “This is for the rich, the get rich and the get famous ones that’s coming along today. And that’s why logomania is so important…it signals where you want to go and who you are right now.”