This Italian “sweet couple” – fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, managed to do almost the impossible. In less than ten years they turned their small Milanese atelier into an international fashion empire. When Armani, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent were already cashing out on their corporations, Dolce & Gabbana were sitting in a small coffee shop sharing their dreams.
Today Dolce & Gabbana partnership has made a mark in a fashion history introducing decorated ripped jeans, a bra as outerwear and an overall “lingerie style” that turns women into real life sex bombs.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana partnership is a living illustration of the law of unity and struggle of opposites. They even look very, very different. Domenico, a chubby Sicilian, is a reserved introvert, loves black and prefers to spend evenings at home. His father owned a small tailor shop. From 6 years of age boy worked as his father’s assistant. Almost with his eyes closed he could sew the sleeve to the jacket for which he was nicknamed “Mozart”. In his spare time as a hobby he created miniature suits and dresses from fabric leftovers.
Handsome, Stefano, 4 years younger than Domenico, confessed that at teenage years he was already a frantic fashionista. At the beginning of each season, he went shopping scouting for the most fashionable thing at the moment. Stefano – in contrast to Dolce, was born in northern Italy, is tall, lean and communicable, loves travelling and clubbing.
Before forming a business partnership they first became lovers. After 20 years together they broke up as a couple, but continue to do everything together – create new collections, travel, argue and support each other.
Their vision on fashion is what sets them apart from other clothing makers. They believe that the essence of fashion comprises of a few basic shapes: pants, skirts, blouses, jackets and everything is revolving around these concepts. They are not trying to invent anything new, but simply to offer their own practical and aesthetic version of what is already there. This does not mean that nothing fundamentally new can’t come out of the process. For example, the Italian sweet couple were first to put men’s suits on a naked woman’s body. They turned underwear into an outerwear.
They think of a future wearer of their garments and imagine the person receiving compliments on how they look. Compliments boost confidence and confident people feel sexy. In general, a woman can’t be sexy just because she wears a particular dress. Sexuality – it is something more: her attitude to life, her individual style or behaviour. But clothes can only enhance this trait. Sometimes a woman has no idea how sexy she is. And then, standing before a mirror in the dressing room, she suddenly understands – I have a beautiful body!
Another interesting fact about D&G creations is that they prefer the pure colors: black, white, deep red as oppose to mixed or artificial colors.
Inspiration is taken from real life characters – Madonna, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida. Their amazing body, covered in tight corsets, their grace, their belts, lacy tops, and their large breasts and shapely legs drive men mad. Dolce & Gabbana propelled this high voltage erotic into their collections: thin waist, tops, bras peeping from under the jacket, lace stockings and transparent dresses. But D&G sexiness has tact, you never see in their collections bare breast or butt. Designers agreed that female body should look tempting, but it should not look indecent.
One of their dreams once came true. Their icon Madonna walked into their atelier to make a deal to design costumes for her tour. At the end of negotiations, they formed an agreement under which designers had to make costumes for “The Girlie” tour. Costumes were to be not only for Madonna but for all musicians and dancers. In less than two months Dolce and Gabbana had to produce 1500 costumes, most of which were sewn and decorated by hand. This collaboration left Madonna happy and designers in stake of a shock. At the time of signing the agreement one important detail was not clarified – the amount they would receive for their work. As a result, simple Italian guys worked as volunteers and Madonna has proven herself as a real “material girl”. Although designers did get something out of this collaboration – fame, experience in entering such agreements and an ability to scale the business to what it is now.
Currently the Dolce & Gabbana business produces a turnover of over $1 billion a year. Between two lines Dolce & Gabbana and a youth D&G company produces clothing, purses, shoes and accessories. D&G glasses and D&G sunglasses, made in Italy, are offered in Eyeinform online store since this year. Dolce & Gabbana boutiques are now opened all over the world, some in own label stores and some as kiosks in luxury malls such as Neiman Marcus, Sacks Fifth Avenue, Holt Renfrew. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are still young and are set to create new collections years to come.