Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem; A Memoir

Random. Jul. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780525510512. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525510529. MEMOIR
Street hustler, con artist, and breakthrough fashion designer Harlem native Day, better known as Dapper Dan, has seen and done it all. Born at the end of the Depression, Day grew up on the streets of Harlem hustling dice games and using drugs and alcohol but maintaining a strong sense of family and loyalty to childhood friends. His story, told here with author Awake, winds through Harlem and local neighborhoods, travels to Africa, which ignited a spark of African pride and style, and running a credit card con throughout the Caribbean, which led him to doing prison time in Aruba. Day ultimately found his niche in fashion design, selling items to gangsters, hip-hop artists, and athletes from the trunk of his car then opening his groundbreaking Dapper Dan’s Boutique in 1982, which was shut down after ten years. Since 2010, he has experienced a resurgence in the fashion world, launching a store on New York’s Lenox Avenue in 2017. His designs have been exhibited at major museums in New York and beyond.
VERDICT Dapper Dan is a Harlem success story. His tale, told here in the vernacular and with honesty, is a true treasure. Absolutely fascinating; will exceed all expectations.

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