The Influence of Art and Fashion on Creative Culture

Creativity in all its glory has become the driving force behind modern culture. In recent times, we’ve seen the likes of modern-day innovators such as photographer Marcus Hyde, and designer Heron Preston exert their formidable influence on the global fashion scene. Indeed, Hyde created a viral tidal wave with his topless photo shoot of Kim Kardashian earlier this year, while Preston – whose game-changing collaborations include Kanye West and Nike – is renowned for spearheading events that celebrate creative culture’s vital role in our society.

Then there’s Dapper Dan, the Harlem-born African-American fashion designer who is credited with introducing high fashion to the hip-hop world – his clients include Jay-Z, Salt-N-Pepa and LL Cool J. And if that’s not kudos enough, the courtier, who has helmed his Harlem atelier for the best part of four decades, has collaborated with Gucci on a collection inspired by the streets of Harlem in the 1980s, including many archival pieces from Dapper Dan’s private collection.

Add to the mix Tracee Ellis Ross, star of the hit series Girlfriends and Black-ish - who’s also a comedian, model, director, television host, style maverick, and the daughter of legendary Motown icon Diana Ross - and you have two powerhouses who are helping to shape the American cultural landscape, along with the very notion of creative culture.  In celebration of the unveiling of Room Service at the new-look Beverly Center, the duo hosted a conversation on fashion and art; firmly fixing the global spotlight on black fashion and culture.

Dapper Dan, whom Ross hails as the OG (original gangster), on his Harlem roots and that Gucci collaboration: “I was forced into the underground for 20 years; I was the best-kept secret for all the artists and designers. They all bought from me, and then, amazingly, Gucci came along and said they wanted us to do something together. I said that if they were serious, they would have to know my story, and that they would have to come to Harlem. So, they did, and I said that if we were going to do something, that I didn’t want a collaboration. I wanted a partnership that my people could understand and respect, which would dignify my community.”  

Tracee Ellis Ross on using fashion as a platform: “When I get dressed, I like to tell a story. It can be as simple as wanting to feel sexy, powerful or sharing a message. At the recent American Music Awards, I said to Karla [Welch, Ross’s stylist]: “I want to tell a story through my body and my clothes, in the limited time I have, so I am going to wear all black designers. All of this dream coming true, and all that I have been gifted with helps me to shine the light on places that are more vulnerable, where I want it to be shining.”  

Room Service
Room Service is a first-of-its-kind private members’ club and networking space, exclusively reserved for LA’s renowned creative force - stylists, designers, writers, movie types and influential tastemakers.  As an inspiring sanctuary, away from the hustle-and-bustle of Hollywood and the endless retail therapy options on offer at The Beverly Center, Room Service features a relaxing lounge space, private conference rooms, on-site luxury concierge services, a complimentary valet, and menu and bar service by Yardbird. Members can also access a host of specially curated benefits and experiences, from wardrobe planning and private dinner invitations, to movie screenings and industry panels.  

Contact your Lifestyle Manager for more information about membership to Room Service at The Beverly Center.