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Fashion Icon Dapper Dan Calls Kanye West ‘An Embarrassment’

Dapper Dan Kanye West
Larry Busacca / Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Dapper Dan is an icon when it comes to hip-hop and fashion. The Harlem, N.Y.-based designer has outfitted some of the biggest names in the rap game. However, the trendsetter, who speaks from years of experience, has some tough words for one of the most outspoken voice in hip-hop: Kanye West, a man who is trying to make a name for himself in the fashion world.

When asked about West’s effort to break into the fashion industry, Dan said he’s doing it all wrong in an interview with Vice.

“Kanye is making a mistake. He is begging and waiting for somebody,” he says. “To people like me who struggled, he’s an embarrassment. He’s got all this money, and he’s knocking on the door. I was dead broke. I told my friends back then, if they weren’t going to let me in the door, I’ll just do what they do better than they do it. And do it for us.”

He also believes that West isn’t aware of what’s hot style-wise. “I don’t think he’s in touch. Does he know what excites the people on the street? Or is it just that he wants people to wear something because he’s wearing it?” he asks. “He should study why black designers before him didn’t make it. If he had done that, he would have known what to expect.”

Dapper Dan may have a point. However, the pandemonium over the Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” sneakers and his A.P.C. collaboration last year shows that West really does have a good idea of what the people want went it comes to fashion.

If the fashion maverick could talk to West right now, he would advise him to go independent and let the fashion world come to him.

“Let’s take this little bit of money here and put it over here in a fashion business. They won’t even know it’s us,” explains Dan. “Let’s nurture it a certain way so we can see how the game goes. If he comes out with a line with his name on it and fails, then he’s branded a failure.”

“When I was making clothes, people (fashion brands) would come to me and I’d say, ‘No, no. They’re going to control me. They’re going to do it the way they want to do,’” he continued. “I’d rather not come out until I can control the elements in the game as opposed to experimenting with my own name. You don’t get a second chance. Not on his level.”

Do you agree with Dapper Dan’s opinion of Kanye West? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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