Iconic fashion designer Dapper Dan is set to make history as the first Black designer to win the CFDA lifetime achievement award without hosting a traditional fashion show.
In an announcement Wednesday, The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named Dapper Dan to be awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 CFDA ceremony.
I love that Dapper Dan is receiving the CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene lifetime achievement award — He’s the first designer to have never had a fashion show to win this honor, rightfully so because look at the material. No show needed! The impact is felt + seen 💅🏽 pic.twitter.com/YzMPHYiISy
— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) September 15, 2021
In an Instagram post, the designer comments on his latest achievement by stating, “Isn’t it ironic how the fashion world says that Dapper Dan won the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, without ever having a runway show?” he wrote. “The streets of Harlem have been my runway for 35 years. Isn’t that where the major luxury brands got their inspiration from? Maybe logo-mania is an illusion. Thank you Harlem, I love you!”
Although this may be true, this does not disqualify Dapper Dan as one of the most influential designers in fashion. It was the streets of Harlem and his customizing streetwear that made him a staple of his own. Hip-Hop artists such as Salt-N-Pepa and LL Cool J flocked to his designs; which eventually turned into Hip-Hop fashion statements.
The 2021 CDFA Awards will take place on November 10 at The Pool Room in New York City. There Dapper Dan will finally get the flowers he deserves by welcoming streetwear into fashion.