In January 1990, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce — riding the wave of the successful launch of their brand five years earlier with a fashion show in Milan during the Collections-New Talents event — proposed their aesthetic vision for the man of the new decade, sending an iconography of revisited Sicilianity to the runways.
Thus began the ascent of the label, which would eventually rank among the biggest in sales volume in the Italian panorama. The founders are still the creative and stylistic source of all of the brand’s activities, as well as its first directors of strategies for development, geared toward balanced growth on the global scale and a focus on the core business. The group creates, produces, and distributes high-end clothing, leather goods, footwear, and accessories. In addition, it manages the production and distribution of beauty, sunglass, and watch lines through licensed partners. Over the years, many other activities, initially created for simple passion, have grown up alongside the collections: for example, cultural and social events in the Milan Metropol, and eventual entrance into the lifestyle world with the Martini Bar and the Gold restaurant. On the distribution politics front, branches in New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong have been added to the headquarters in Milan.
In June 2013, the two designers wound up in the limelight of news coverage following a conviction for fiscal evasion. According to the public prosecutor’s office in Milan, they set up a tax shelter through a corporation in Luxembourg, resulting in considerable fiscal savings. In July 2013, the City of Milan’s councilor for commerce declared that he did not want to give space to “evaders” like Dolce & Gabbana. The designers reacted by closing their stores for three days “for indignation.”