Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana 1979 Italian Stylist

DOLCE & GABBANA: FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF STEFANO GABBANA AND DOMENICO DOLCE TO THE CREATION OF ONE OF THE GREATEST MADE IN ITALY EMPIRES

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce
Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce

INDEX

  1. Origin of Dolce & Gabbana
  2. Stefano Gabbana, the stylist of provocations
  3.  Domenico Dolce
  4. Beginnings of Dolce & Gabbana
  5. Turning
    point 5.1. New beginnings: the first store and the men’s line
    5.2Dolce & Gabbana man
  6. Nineties
  7. Second D&G line
  8. New millennium
  9. Faces of Dolce & Gabbana
  10. Sicily
  11. Dolce & Gabbana style
  12. Advertising campaigns

ORIGINS OF DOLCE & GABBANA

There is no Dolce without Gabbana and vice versa. A destiny written from the first pages in his youth, when Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce meet, fall in love and create together one of the greatest Made in Italy empires.

Not without difficulty. Starting from the doors closed in the face of the beginnings, up to the conviction for tax evasion, from which they were then acquitted in the Supreme Court, and to the moral trials for having expressed their opinions on gay adoptions and marriages. It will not be a coincidence that one of the biggest customers and admirers of the brand is Madonna and if Monica Bellucci is considered the embodiment of the Dolce & Gabbana woman.

 STEFANO GABBANA, THE STYLIST OF PROVOCATIONS

Stefano Gabbana was born on November 14, 1962 in Milan, the second son of a family of Venetian origins.

Her mother Piera works as a porter and to supplement her earnings she irons and adapts to small housework with wealthy families. His father Lino works as a worker at Rusconi in Sesto San Giovanni, he too does small extra jobs to round up. Stefano has always been very proud of the efforts made by his parents and from an early age he helps his mother in cleaning. After graduating in graphics in Monza, the young talent sets off in search of a job. The day comes when he makes the phone call that will change his life forever, on the other side of the phone is Domenico Dolce.

stefano gabbana and domenico dolce at the beginning
stefano gabbana and domenico dolce at the beginning

THE TAILORING OF DOMENICO DOLCE

Domenico Mario Assunto Dolce was born in Polizzi Generosa, in the province of Palermo, on August 13, 1958.

Her passion for fashion begins in her father’s clothing company, and is structured by studying fashion design. The first fateful meeting between the two took place by telephone in 1979. Domenico is working in the Milanese studio of the Bolognese designer Giorgio Correggiari .

Somewhere inside the atelier a telephone rings, it is Stefano who calls in search of a job: “Hello, can I speak to Giorgio Correggiari?”. On the other side of the line, a voice replies: “She’s not there, I’ll pass her assistant”, so the two young people talk to each other for the first time, and immediately a sympathy arises, Stefano has the opportunity to enter that world that had always fascinated him, so he asked Domenico for a meeting. Gabbana is hired, his desk is in front of Domenico’s who barricades himself behind mountains of books for fear of being copied.

THE BEGINNINGS OF DOLCE & GABBANA

From their first meeting, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce began working for the line, Do.nna Do.nna , founded by Dolce a few years earlier. The first presentation takes place at Burghy , a historic Milanese fast food restaurant located in via Vittorio Emanuele. The invitations consist of a cardboard box with a hamburger of bread stuffed with a bolted paper and fabrics attached with glue inside. An original idea which, however, did not take into account the time factor: the hamburgers were in fact delivered moldy. The money to pay the models is not there, so the clothes are made to wear mannequins seated at the tables, so as to confuse them with the customers.

The second show takes place in a hairdresser, at midnight, the clothes take on cyanotic colors, they are crazy, in full Warholian inspiration . In those years the two had a tiny office in Porta Vittoria, near the courthouse, outside a Plexiglas plate with their surnames. The two, however, are penniless, full of debt and no one seems to want to produce their lines.

They live tightly in a studio flat in Piazza Cinque Giornate, in front of the Coin , where the home menu offers nothing but pasta, rice and milk.

THE TURNING POINT

In Florence, the meeting takes place with Modenese, president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion during Pitti . In 1985, invited by Beppe Modenese himself, they made their debut in Milan Collezioni in the New Talents section with their Dolce & Gabbana brand. Milano Collezioni chooses the two willful stylists as new proposals. On the advice of an accountant, the two begin to invoice jointly to simplify bureaucracy and costs, thus Dolce & Gabbana was born.

The first show dates back to October 1985 but the duo still did not have enough budget to pay for the models and the complete set-up needed for the show. For this reason, trusted friends were involved to wear their clothes and their personal items were used to make up for the lack of accessories. The collection was called  Real Women , in honor of all the “truthfulness” of the women who walked on this occasion. The stage curtain was the bed sheet that Dolce brings from home.

Already from the first collections, the identity of the brand is outlined. While the miniskirt, fluorescent colors and large shoulder pads took over, the duo proposed a more traditional vision of woman inspired by the women of the great classics such as the Leopard, the stories of Verga and the paintings of Guttuso. Seductive and rigorous women, a mix of glamor and realism.

Campaign on Vogue, 1988
Campaign on Vogue, 1988

However, sales do not go as hoped and the two are forced to cancel the order of fabric destined for the creation of the next collection.

NEW BEGINNINGS: THE FIRST SHOP AND THE MEN’S LINE

For Christmas of the same year, Domenico Dolce’s family offers financial help to allow him to continue in their great dream. A dream that came true with the opening of the brand’s first boutique in 1986, followed by a knitwear collection and then costumes in 1989.

A growing popularity that will triumph with the fourth collection, a tribute to Domenico Dolce’s Sicilian roots. During the show, “the Sicilian dress” is presented for the first time. Defined as one of the hundred most important dresses ever designed, it is a model that takes its cue from a petticoat. It has straps that support the bust, enhanced by a precise neckline and a fitted silhouette that widens down to allow movement.

An agreement is signed with the Kashiyama group (today Onward Group) by virtue of which the first store opens in Japan. In 1990 the brand’s first men’s collection was released, presented during a fashion show in New York; first event in the American metropolis in which Dolce & Gabbana will later open a sales and distribution showroom.

DOLCE & GABBANA MAN

The Dolce & Gabbana man is relaxed, he dresses for himself, a little hedonistic, very attentive to details.

“He loves everything that does not schematize him, he is free, successful. He can go to the office with an impeccable pinstripe or indifferently with torn jeans and a blazer. He is one who dictates the rules, does not suffer them: with great charisma, he imposes his traditions by putting on the flat cap, the waistcoat and the timeless white undershirt.”

men, ss21
men, ss21

Originally inspired by the eclectic thrift shop Bohemia, Dolce & Gabbana’s very colorful animal prints have been described as “tall hippies ”. Reference model: David Beckham, long considered a style icon.

NINETIES SIGNED BY DOLCE & GABBANA

Meanwhile, the duo’s popularity grows. The ss 1990 women’s collection stands out for its crystal-covered dresses, while the aw 1991 collection features filigree medals, pendants and embellished corsets.

ss 1990
ss 1990

In 1991, the men’s collection won the Woolmark Award as the most innovative collection of the year.

From 1991 to 1992 the company expands its business with the lines of accessories. Foulards, men’s swimwear and ties, perfumes and an original collection dedicated to the bride. The first perfume for women is born, Dolce & Gabbana Parfum .

In this period also begins the collaboration with the singer Madonna , their fan and friend who will later become a witness of their style and interpreter of advertising campaigns. Madonna shows up at the Cannes Film Festival with a gemstone corset from the brand; Additionally, the singer for her tour Di Lei Girlie Show ordered more than 150 costumes.

Madonna during the Girlie Show tour
Madonna during the Girlie Show tour

In 1994 the fashion house gave the name “ La Turlington ” to a double-breasted jacket inspired by model Christy Turlington . In the same year, the line for the Dolce & Gabbana Home Collection was also launched , which will be shelved before the start of the new millennium.

Turlington jacket
Turlington jacket, 1994

1994 is also the year in which, to celebrate the sales success, the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in via Spiga 2 in Milan is opened, on the occasion of which they launch on the market a limited production of iconic special pieces of the brand. The boutique will mark one of the borders of what will later become the famous fashion district.

TEN YEARS OF DOLCE & GABBANA

In March 1996, Stefano and Domenico celebrate 10 years of Dolce & Gabbana with a book of images. On the cover Monica Bellucci, actress, fan and friend, witness of the Dolce & Gabbana style in the world, portrayed in a remake of the famous striptease scene of the film La dolce vita by Federico Fellini, a cult movie of the Italian style.

Also in 1996 they launched the musical project D&G Music, followed in 1997 by the single D&G More More More. With Giuseppe Tornatore, the Italian director who signs the direction of the commercial for the first of their perfumes with the actress Monica Bellucci, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana agree to play the parts of a Sicilian shepherd and a Milanese photographer in the film Man of the stars “ , nominated for the Oscars as best foreign film and awarded in Venice with the Special Jury Prize. They also design the costumes for the film  “Romeo + Juliet” , the film by Baz Luhrmann , which re-elaborates Shakespeare’s famous tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” in a postmodern key .

In ’96 and ’97 FHM nominated the duo designer of the year and in 1998 also launched an eyewear line.

D&G JUNIOR LINE

Last creative stage: the D&G Junior line presented at Pitti Bimbo in Florence in June ’99. At this point, the two designers / entrepreneurs implement the industrial verticalization strategy of Dolce & Gabbana SpA by taking over 51% of the clothing production company Dolce Saverio SpA, 100% of DGS, the company responsible for distribution in single-brand stores, and by acquiring 5% of the Marcolin eyewear manufacturing industry.

d & g junior ss15 campaign
d & g junior ss15 campaign

SECOND D&G LINE

In 1994, the second line was created for the youngest, a young and contemporary line produced and distributed throughout the world by the Italian company Ittierre. Dolce & Gabbana became more and more a representative brand of Italy in the world and in 2001 it successfully entered the children’s fashion market with the D&G Junior children’s clothing and footwear collection produced and distributed by Dolce & Gabbana Industria SpA. brand in sight, with lots of denim and animal prints. At the end of July of the same year, the collection conquers a corner in the Italian department store La Rinascente, in Piazza Duomo in Milan. Other corners will be opened in single-brand stores in Milan, Miami and in Rome in Piazza di Spagna.

The second line was a breaking point because, in the midst of a return to minimalism, D & G’s debut was a surprise. A more sporty and noisy line, accessible to all and capable of seducing teenagers from all over the world following the logic of the monogram-symbol of a pop culture.

In 2007, Dolce & Gabbana closes the collaboration with IT Holding for the production of the young D&G line, which becomes internal to ensure greater control. In 2011 D&G was merged with the main line, to consolidate the brand, as the second line no longer made the numbers it used to.

The second D&G line
The second D&G line

NEW MILLENNIUM

In 2000, the line of watches and new lines of leather goods and footwear were launched: the company expands on foreign and European markets by strengthening its distribution in Italy, Japan, Spain and France; the openings of new boutiques, showrooms and offices and communication initiatives multiply.

In July 2000 Dolce & Gabbana inaugurated the new Los Angeles boutique on the legendary Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills with a big party and the prestigious fashion news magazine Women’s Wear Daily defined the event “as a new touch of real Sicily on the West Coast “.

SUCCESS OF THE 2000S

2002

In 2002 Gabriella Forte sat in the chair of the presidency of Dolce & Gabbana Industria SpA, who at the age of 51 assumed the position of president of Dolce & Gabbana USA and director of licenses and accessories lines Dolce & Gabbana SpA

After creating the costumes for Madonna’s Drowned World Tour , beloved by music and movie stars, they entertain many of their relationships. These play an important role in building each other’s image. The 2002 collaboration with Kylie Minogue is famous, which, in Milan for her only Italian tour date, is celebrated by the two stylists with a party / event to which guests can only access by wearing the T-shirt / invitation with the words Dolce e Gabbana for Kylie sent to a selected mailing list along with a lip decal of the 34-year-old Australian pop diva. For her and her entourage Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana create the stage costumes of the European tour.

For the autumn of 2002 they propose a re-edition of the brand’s iconic garments at the opening of the show. Ten cult looks reissued with the Vintage label opened the show. The minigûepiere on the white shirt, the black dress-bustier with laces on the hips, the tight knit sheath dress, the sexy and tight black suit are back on the catwalk again to contrast and emphasize the capacity for change and talent in contemporary interpretation of the duo, and to offer the possibility to a whole new generation of women to include a classic Dolce & Gabbana in their wardrobe. In 2002 the turnover target was 533 million euros.

dolce & gabbana 2002 bustier dress
bustier dress 2002
2003

For spring-summer 2003 they proposed very tight trousers closed by buckles, silver cotton jackets, miniskirts with leather fringes, wide and asymmetrical shirts, short peplos in red jersey and furs with knit and chain inlays. The setting is surreal and nostalgic in an old port with rusty moorings and chains. The collection has been defined: “futuristic, hypersexy, extravagant, erotic, warrior, Hellenic, tough”. In addition, as a frame, unusual details such as décolleté shoes with chain and padlock, very thin and vertiginous heels, boots with a large studded band, bracelets-handcuffs, collars with the words “sex” and “love”.

ss03
ss03

In January 2003, coinciding with the Milanese men’s fashion week, they inaugurated the new Dolce & Gabbana space dedicated entirely to the male universe. In a historic Milanese building in Corso Venezia 13, the original frescoes and structures of the three floors that will house places not necessarily linked to the sale are restored to a design by architect David Chipperfield. More than a shop, in fact, we can talk about a men’s club complete with a barber, the Sicilian Giovanni Pappalardo di Gela, a Martini & Rossi bar, a fitness center with massages, muds and beauty treatments only for men. The furniture is personally supervised by the two stylists assisted by the architect Ferruccio Laviani. Murano chandeliers, prickly pear plants, baroque thrones, gigantic wineskins, everything recalls the style of the maison.  In 2003, GQ magazine included Dolce and Gabbana among the men of the year.

FROM 2004 TO 2008

In 2004 they were nominated best international designers by Elle readers on the occasion of the Elle Style Award. Sentimental relationship between the two designers ends in 2004, but the fruitful and consolidated business relationship continues.  Notably, the bond of the two Italian designers with the show, music and international clubbing scene takes shape in 2004. With the opening of a multipurpose space for events and fashion shows in the heart of the Italian fashion capital, in Viale Piave 24, in Milan. The Metropol, a historic cinema from the late 1940s where, in 1954, the opera singer Maria Callas recorded a memorable Norma, is restored, revisited, and inaugurated with the Dolce & Gabbana Woman S / S 2006 fashion show on 29 September 2005.

The eclectic duo isn’t just about fashion. Sign a version of the Citroën C3 and a mobile phone for Motorola. Also in that year an advertising campaign of the brand spread in France and Spain, depicting a woman immobilized on the ground by a man while others watch the scene, sparked controversy and was withdrawn.

In 2008 Dolce & Gabbana ranks second in the list of the most profitable fashion companies and is also among the first fashion houses to have an excellent website around which a community is built and which, at the end of 2008, will see the birth of a rich online magazine.

FROM 2009 TO 2012

In the spring of 2009 the Dolce & Gabbana make-up collection was born, which chooses actress Scarlett Johansson as a witness. On the occasion of the launch, the duo sponsors, in collaboration with Vogue USA, the Extreme Beauty in Vogue exhibition-event, a digression on the ideals of beauty and the icons that have alternated over the course of the twentieth century, retraced through the images created for the magazine American by the most famous fashion photographers.

Scarlett Johansson, 2011 campaign
Scarlett Johansson, 2011 campaign

Attention to changes in customs and the market and connections with the world of youth and the creative avant-gardes have led Stefano Dolce and Domenico Gabbana to the realization of an innovative project: the opening of Spiga 2 , a shop dedicated to new creative talents. Since September 2010, the historic Dolce & Gabbana boutique dedicated to accessories in via Spiga has been a showcase for emerging designers: Elisa Palomino, Yigal Azrouel, Martin Grant, Kinder Aguggini, Cooperative Designs, Erkan Coruh, MSGM are just some of the emerging designers that two designers select from all over the world.

In the same period, they signed a contract with Sony Ericsson for the creation of a special edition of the Jalou line of phones with 24-karat gold details and the Dolce & Gabbana label on the device. Giorgio Armani accuses them of copying matelassé trousers . The two reply that they have a lot to learn, but not from him.

They celebrate the brand’s twentieth anniversary in Milan, with a public exhibition set up in the center of the Milanese capital, before debuting, the following year, with a line of jewels, which includes eighty pieces including collages, bracelets and bejeweled rosaries.

THE LINK WITH SPORT

In January 2004, the maison produced the book Calcio which sees players and referees portrayed by the lens of the young fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco while wearing Dolce & Gabbana. The volume defines the brand’s close link with contemporary pop culture. Importantly, through the celebration of one of its main manifestations and its stars. A typically Italian phenomenon that has generated international style models for men and women of all cultures and ages.

The liaison experienced two moments of glory: the first, in 2004, when a two-year agreement was signed between Dolce & Gabbana and the AC Milan football team for the creation of the kits presented in the book AC Milan dressed by Dolce & Gabbana, a collection of images made by prestigious fashion photographers that portray the footballers and managers of AC Milan in a total Dolce & Gabbana look; the second in 2006, the year in which Dolce & Gabbana signed the uniforms of the Italian national football team on the occasion of the World Cup in Germany which will be won by Italy.

The Milan uniforms designed by Dolce & Gabbana
The Milan uniforms designed by Dolce & Gabbana

In 2010, the couple signed a three-year agreement with the English football club Chelsea, owned by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, to design their off-pitch outfits and uniforms, including clothes for the women staff.

BOTTEGHE DI MESTIERE PROJECT

In 2012 Dolce & Gabbana launched the Botteghe di Mestiere project, an internal apprenticeship path within the company, which aims to promote and encourage the training of young generations in the field of tailoring and, at the same time, to offer concrete job opportunities and qualified.

dolce & gabbana
Craft Workshops

CHARGE OF TAX EVASION

In 2009 the company was accused of tax evasion against the Italian State for a taxable amount of almost 250 million euros. The fiscal affair continues and in 2013 Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are sentenced to pay 343 million euros for tax evasion and one year and eight months in prison. In the fall of 2014 the Supreme Court acquits the designer couple for not having committed the crime.

FROM 2013 TO TODAY

In 2013, due to some disagreements with the then president Mario Boselli , Dolce & Gabbana left the Calendar of the National Chamber of Fashion, while continuing to show during the Milan fashion week.

#DGEEVOLUTION

On the occasion of the opening of the boutique in Via Montenapoleone 4 in Milan in September 2016, Dolce & Gabbana announced a global revolution of its retail network, #DGEvolution. The concept-store model with a single exhibition module all over the world is replaced by a new formula that puts the aesthetics and values ​​of the brand in dialogue with the peculiarities of each place, in collaboration with the most prestigious architectural firms. Among others: Jean Nouvel, Eric Carlson (Carbondale), Steven Harris (Steven Harris Architects), Julien Rousseau (Fresh Architectures), Gwenael Nicolas (Curiosity), Jacob Van Rijs and Fokke Moerel (MVRDV), Marco Donati, Barbara Ghidoni and Michele Pasini (Storage Associates).

In 2019 the boutique in Via della Spiga 2 was renovated. The shop is a tribute to the roots of the brand and its founding link with the female universe, spread over the three overall floors of the boutique. The three levels tell the story of Italian love, sensuality and beauty through refined atmospheres and plays of perspectives.

Via della Spiga boutique 2019
Via della Spiga boutique 2019
In June 2020, after 7 years from its release, Dolce & Gabbana returns to parade within the Milan Fashion Week Calendar.

HIGH FASHION

A vital and wise creativity finds its ideal landing place in the birth of Dolce & Gabbana Haute couture in 2012 and Dolce & Gabbana Haute couture in 2013, two lines that, hinging on the human and sentimental heritage of the “handmade”, tell the Italian spirit and its beauty. The “handmade” for Dolce & Gabbana is not just a production method or a concept of communication, but a real modus operandi that affects the brand’s activity on several levels.

In July 2012 the first Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda collection was presented in Taormina. Since the first edition of Haute Couture in 2012, the presentations of the Haute Couture, Haute Couture and High Jewelery collections are an opportunity to tell and promote the cultural heritage and artistic expressions of the places where they are based. In Italy: Taormina, Venice, Capri, Portofino, Naples, Palermo, Como, Agrigento, Florence ; Milan for the winter edition. Abroad: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, London, New York, Mexico City.

DOLCE & GABBANA STYLE

It is not easy to circumscribe the Dolce & Gabbana universe in one definition. A world made up of sensations, traditions, culture, Mediterranean character. Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana have made their surnames a brand known all over the world, easily recognizable for its glamor and its great versatility. Two stylists who have been able to turn their Italian spirit into a banner. Notably, they have been able to interpret and impose their sensual and unique style on the world. Significantly, appealing to young people and draw inspiration from young people. Adored by Hollywood stars, who have made them their favorites. They dress all the rock stars of the moment, who have elected them undisputed leaders.

The image of the maison is part of a precise but spontaneous communication project wanted and managed directly by the two designers who represent a very peculiar reality of identification and coherence between brand, entrepreneurial strategy, product and designer.

BETWEEN SENSUALITY AND TRADITION

The Dolce & Gabbana woman is a strong woman who likes herself and knows how to please. A cosmopolitan woman who has traveled the world but does not forget her roots. She wears extremely sexy guêpière or bras in sight under transparent garments, contrasting them with very masculine pinstripes complete with a tie and white shirt or a men’s tank top, but always wearing very high heels that still give her an extremely feminine and sexy gait.

She loves the very masculine flat cap brought from Sicily and the rosary of the first communion, which she wears as a necklace. You can indifferently be manager, wife, mother, lover, but always and in any case a woman to the end.

Their woman is mysterious and seductive. In her, a thousand facets, suspended between modernity and tradition, blend with feminine sensuality in a game accentuated, by contrast, by the use of masculine garments. Black and white together, eros and crucifix. Pinstripe suits that recall the gangster-movies of the 30s.

Dressing gowns, corsets, lace and petticoats, the underwear that is imposed on the dress. A disruptive Mediterranean femininity that recalls Sofia Loren , in Ieri, Oggi and Domani , of 1963. The success was immediate due to the diversity compared to the style in vogue of those years.

In the second half of the Eighties, their bustier, among black lace, satin and chiffon , reserved an exceptional place. With this in mind, the shots by Ferdinando Scianna with Marpessa Hennink from 1987 represent the most intimate soul of Dolce & Gabbana’s stylistic concept: the supermodel, with white blouses or long total black skirts, lets herself be photographed by a Sicilian urchin in the sunny island streets. The black and white atmosphere is a tribute to 1940s cinema.

dolce & gabbana
Marpessa x Ferdinando Scianna

BRAND’S DNA

Their suit , revisited, becomes an incisive instrument of seduction. We will see Isabella Rossellini dressed in a Dolce & Gabbana pinstripe, white shirt and tie . Distinctive element: the double- breasted jacket .

In this period the key elements of the style were strengthened such as the leopard print , first on the linings and since ’94, a distinctive sign of the brand, and the corsetry. Even in tradition, the ability to surprise is not lacking, a constant in the style of the brand.

There is another element that returns as a mantra becoming more and more the vital soul of a strong and enveloping style, that is the artisan mastery that stitches heritage and industry together in an emotional journey that makes the creations vivid testimonies of an ancient art from which it cannot be ignored.

A balance between symbolism, tradition, imagination and pure fashion that makes black lace, the three-piece dress, the lingerie-style dress or the  Sicily bag the bastions of the Dolce & Gabbana DNA, making them timeless classics that transcend trends.

Thus the black lace dress, made with fabrics with unusual connotations, taken from the mourning outfits of Sicilian widows, is transformed into a classic that expresses sensuality. Even the lingerie-style dresses, and the pajamas, attest to Dolce & Gabbana’s desire to look at what lies deep inside and bring it to light, whether it be a slip of the tongue or an intrinsic quality. And then the cardingan, this small and simple piece of clothing, which when worn over a lingerie-style dress reveals more than it hides.

Their garments are immortalized by Helmut Newton , Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh .

HISTORICAL REINTERPRETATIONS

The classic fashion garments, from the white shirt to the trench coat, are reborn in an experimental perspective. The guêpière is superimposed on the white shirt, with visible laces and hooks; the male pinstripe suit becomes a black bustier dress; the trench coat is revisited in transparent pvc, the sheath dresses become snug and with non-traditional colors such as gold and silver. Fringes, flat caps and vests , leather patchwork sheath dresses on reptile boots, tongues and furs with a spotted interior. Collection after collection, their garments feature more and more details, materials, precious workmanship.

ITALIANITY

In their collections, there are also constant references to Italianness and cinema. Dolce & Gabbana’s women seem to come out of Luchino Visconti ‘s imagination in La terra trema or from  Zeffirelli’s Storia di una blackcap . White lace as if it came from a trousseau, declined in sangallo, valenciennes or crochet. We recall the ironic Italian mambo of vegetable patterns, crochet workmanship for suits, sheath dresses and fluffy skirts or straight midi .

That’s why Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana always make the news: their clothes speak for them, their unmistakable style sends precise messages in a language that is always the same, but paradoxically always different, in continuous evolution and in all the languages ​​of the world.

For the spring-summer 2016 collection, sumptuous dresses dedicated to Italy were shown on the catwalk: Capri, Venice, Rome and Florence are told through decorations and prints affixed to clothes and accessories.

dolce & gabbana fashion show ss16
SS16 fashion show

A made in Italy that is not a label but a real creed, to be protected, to be defended, to be exported, to be celebrated. An Italian spirit is also at the center of the digital project #Dgfattoincasa which, during the lockdown period, was born with the aim of telling the values, the Dna, the deepest roots of Made in Italy through video content made on the brand’s Instagram account which involved Italian artisans and friends of the stylists, building a cross-section of a know-how born in the name of exquisitely national beauty and authenticity.

SICILY

Sicily: traditions, landscapes, unique flavors and colors; a mixture of Mediterranean cultures

It is a region full of contrasts, both social and geographical: the crystalline blue waters that contrast with the lush green of the coasts, both sandy and rocky and almost desert areas, are an inexhaustible source of discovery and inspiration. Precisely for this reason Sicily, the homeland of Domenico Dolce, has been an inspiration and a reference for Dolce & Gabbana since the two designers entered the world of fashion.

If you look back at the first collections, the ones that launched Dolce & Gabbana on the scene, the references to Sicily are clear and casual. The AW 1987-88 collection was simply called “La Sicilia” , and the clean-lined black dresses inspired by those of southern women made the “widow’s look” desirable, which was then captured by Ferdinando Scianna’s expert lenses in the immortal countryside advertising with Marpessa .

Naomi Campbell in the Dolce & Gabbana SS 1992
Naomi Campbell in the Dolce & Gabbana SS 1992

With the evolution of Dolce & Gabbana and with the continuous inspiration that Sicily provides, the two designers have begun to look at the folkloric elements of the island, such as the Sicilian horse-drawn cart, ceramics and even the puppet theater.

These decidedly unique elements of the folkloric tradition have created an ironic and widely appreciated conceptual direction. The craftsmanship that characterizes these folkloric elements of the Sicilian tradition and the artisans who keep them alive are important both for design and for the value of inspiration.

For this reason, handcrafted pom-poms according to tradition, woven wicker baskets such as traditional coffee bags, mirror applications, trimmings and much more continue to be present in the Dolce & Gabbana collections both on accessories and on dresses. .

“ENTIRELY SICILIAN” COLLECTIONS

For SS 2013, the two designers have created a collection entirely inspired by Sicily. An immortal declaration of love for the island and its cultural heritage. There are cart prints, decorative elements of the cart and also prints depicting other folkloric traditions such as Mori vases, puppet theater and majolica.

Just as if it were the inheritance of one’s family, the folkloristic traditions of Sicily run through the collections, sometimes recalled openly, other times hidden as secret references that will only be grasped by those who already know them.

Over the years, these inspirations have been translated into fashion, home accessories and more. This proves that, when love and respect are at the base, there is nothing that Dolce & Gabbana’s imagination cannot create.

The Sicilian cart collection , Spring Summer 2016 is characterized by a sparkling look inspired by Sicily: flowers, decorations and the typical Sicilian Puppet Theater.

dolce & gabbana
Sicilian cart collection, ss16

Sicily also returns to collaborations with other brands such as Smeg and Fiasconaro. With Smeg, in 2018, the brand created a special capsule, Sicily is my Love , of exclusive appliances decorated with motifs typical of the Sicilian tradition; while with the Sicilian brand Fiasconaro – known for its artisan panettone – they have created a line of panettone and spreads. The products are contained in the special packaging designed by Dolce & Gabbana.

sicily is my love, Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana
Sicily is my love, Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana

FACES OF DOLCE & GABBANA

In addition to Madonna, over the years Demi Moore, Nicole Kidman, Isabella Rossellini are among the most famous customers and testimonials of the company and the brand. Eva Riccobono, Susan Sarandon, Tina Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi, Monica Bellucci. Finally, Bianca Balti, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie, Annie Lennox, Jennifer Lopez. And again Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, Matthew McConaughey (protagonist of the tv commercial for the perfume The One ).

For the latest projects, the brand has entrusted its campaigns to well-known faces. Not only belonging to the new generation of Millennials and GenZ, the target to which the brand wants to address. Among these the young actor Cameron Dallas, the model Chiara Scelsi, the influencers Mariano Di Vaio and Caroline Daur, the daughter of art Deva Cassel and the actress Emilia Clark.

dolce & gabbana
Advertising campaign with Cameron Dallas and Austine Mahone

ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Among the photographers and directors who have worked with Dolce & Gabbana for the advertising campaigns we can include Giampaolo Barbieri ,Michel Comte , Fabrizio Ferri , Steven Klein, Steven Meisel ,Mert + Marcus, Jean Baptiste Mondino ,  Ferdinando Scianna , Giampaolo Sgura , Mario Sorrenti,Solve Sundsbo,  Mario Testino , Giuseppe Tornatore, and Mariano Vivanco. 

Dolce & Gabbana have won two Leadawards, the most important advertising award in Germany, for their campaigns. The most iconic spot is certainly the one created for Dolce & Gabbana’s first women’s perfume, it has been aired in Italy for several years, from a creation by director Giuseppe Tornatore, arranged by Ennio Morricone and starring actress Monica Bellucci.

The 30-second surrealist commercial begins with a man slamming an octopus against the stone edges of a tide pool. He stands up and looks around him, where there are several women busy in their daily lives. A woman (Bellucci) wears a 1950s-style bathing dress behind a white sheet held by two other women.

After getting changed, she throws her bra over a prickly pear cactus and walks out to the ocean. She later appears lying on a shapely bed and the man who sees her is standing outside her window, holding her bra over his nose. The film ends with an image of Dolce & Gabbana perfume bottles against a black background.

In 2003 another surrealist spot on the Sicilian funeral advertises the perfume of the Dolce & Gabbana Sicily. Giuseppe Tornatore also directs this adv having clear the Dolce & Gabbana style, the inspirations and the starting points on which the two stylists work.

The collaboration with Tornatore continues in 2020 with the Devotion campaign.

Tornatore x Dolce & Gabbana
Tornatore x Dolce & Gabbana

CHINESE SCANDAL

In 2018, to promote the Shanghai fashion show, the brand proposed videos in which an Asian model tries to eat traditional Italian food with chopsticks. The brand has been accused of reproducing a stereotypical image and of conveying sexist and racist messages. The climate of controversy then worsened when the instagram account DietPrada published an exchange of messages with Stefano Gabbana. Gabbana expressed racist and offensive views towards China. The director of VogueChina Angelica Cheung canceled her attendance and Bentley and Xing Li agencies said they would not send their models to the runway. The event was canceled and the Dolce & Gabbana company apologized, saying that its accounts were hacked and that the messages in question were not authentic.

RETAIL SPACES

In 2002 they inaugurated the showroom in via Goldoni. A seven-storey building serving as a boutique and corporate space that has moved from their previous main showroom located in Piazza Umanitaria. In July 2006 Dolce & Gabbana opened a demonstration space of 450 m² called the showroom in via Broggi in Milan. The fashion house also bought the Il Metropol theater in Milan, a historic cinema built in the 1940s. It was renovated and reopened in September 2005.

Showroom via Broggi
Showroom via Broggi

In 2003 he opened a co-sponsored bar that the two founded in their Milanese men’s showroom called Martini Bar. Another Martini Bar was established in 2006 in Shanghai.In 2009 Dolce & Gabbana had 93 boutiques and 11 corporate outlets and had sales in 80 countries. Altogether they owned 251 mono-brand stores.

Martini Bar Dolce & Gabbana
Martini Bar Dolce & Gabbana

In 2006 Dolce & Gabbana opened Il Gold, a multifunctional building with café, bar, bistro and restaurant areas.

THE EXHIBITIONS

In addition to catwalk shows and advertising campaigns for their collections, Dolce & Gabbana use their spaces to host art and photography exhibitions. Dolce & Gabbana also use their spaces to present books and photo exhibitions of their clothes, such as the launch of their book David Gandy in 2011.

For July 2020 the exhibition From the heart to hands on Dolce & Gabbana was scheduled at Palazzo Reale: a journey to discover authentic Italian beauty. centered on the Dolce & Gabbana Haute Couture, Haute Couture and High Jewelery collections. The exhibition intended to present the expressive value of the fashion of the two designers. A poetic tale of territories, artistic treasures, cinematic vision. Of gastronomic excellences and art crafts that embellish the fabric of our country. Shows that canceled due to the pandemic.

conclusione There is no Dolce without Gabbana and vice versa. A destiny written from the first pages in his youth, when Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce meet, fall in love and create together one of the greatest Made in Italy empires.

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