The Council of Fashion Designers of America held their awards show on November 10. At the ceremony, they awarded Dapper Dan (also known as Daniel Day) its highest honor. He became the first Black designer to receive the coveted and well deserved Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.

To add an additional layer of notoriety and significance to his win, it is important to cite another achievement. He is the only designer to earn the award without first having a formal runway show. He never used a traditional showcase format for his designs. Preferring to utilize celebrities as showstoppers for his creations, Dapper Dan carved out a path on his own.

Dapper Dan Receives The Lifetime Achievement Award

Designing for the biggest names in entertainment, music and fashion, Dapper Dan is a style titan. Hailed as the fashion icon of Harlem, globally they recognize him for his distinctive eye and incredible talent. Recently, the HBOMAX competitive design series, The Hype, featured him as an esteemed guest. He advised streetwear design hopefuls on how to chisel their mark in an industry that exalts individuality. Now deemed as an icon in the game, he is a miles away from where he started.

@msnbcIconic designer Dapper Dan recently became the first Black recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. @jahanmeansworld used the occasion to share some history. #ReidOutBlog♬ Fantastic Apparatus – DJ BAI

Dapper Dan’s Speckled Past

Shunned by couture fashion houses and brands for decades, Dapper Dan was never invited to the table. Only now, in recent years, he receives his due respect.

In the words of Kanye West,

If you admire somebody, you should go ahead and tell them. People never get the flowers while they can still smell them.

Although Dapper Dan did not receive his commercial praises until recently, he continues to receive his flowers in accolades now. And with awards like these, it is very likely that these days he is beginning to smell the well deserved scent of triumph.


Featured Image via CFDA

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