02.03.2015 - Aisling O'Leary


A Sicilian love story



Dolce & Gabbana is for the strong, sexy, proud woman. A woman that moves her body with an alluring femininity. She is not afraid to say the word ‘Sex’ out loud. She knows where she comes from and more importantly; where she is going. She can rock a sexy pair of extremely high heels with a masculine pinstripe suit and yet have every man (and woman) watch her pass them by.


With a dream to work for Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce dropped out of fashion school and marched his way over to the Armani headquarters and handed in his sketches. Having heard nothing from Armani, Dolce started working as an assistant for the designer Giorgio Correggiari. Soon after, Domenico locked eyes with the slightly younger, fashion enthusiast, Stefano Gabbana at a nightclub. Gabbana was advised by Dolce on how to approach Correggiari for work. Soon after, the two became partners in love and business. After some time doing freelance work, the designers were advised by their accountant to send one invoice instead of two each time as to save paperwork. And with this an idea was born. Dolce and Gabbana became Dolce & Gabbana. Birthing a label that would captivate the world. Due to lack of funds, the artistic duo had to be resourceful in producing a collection and planning a show. With their (model) friends, the two managed to pull it all off. The first show was a great success, however Dolce and Gabbana could not afford to produce a second one, opting for discontinuation. Family then stepped in and offered their financial support.


The designers find their inspiration primarily in Italian film history. “We think of a story and design the clothes to go with it,” says Gabbana. Their style is an ode to Sicilian culture, romantic Catholicism and folkloric Maximalism. Dolce & Gabbana have worked with countless music artists over the years. To name a few, Madonna, Missy Elliot, Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Mary J Blige and Whitney Houston. Their involvement in the music industry aided them in finding, forming and founding trends.

Aside from collaborating with music artists, the brand has implemented its name all over the global market. Deals had been made with AC Milan and Chelsea FC whereby the duo would design and provide on- and off field attire for the teams. In ’06 they worked with Motorola designing a mobile phone, in ’09 it was Sony Ericsson, a phone christened ‘Jalou’ (meaning jealous) with 24 carat gold details. Car brand Citroën and Martini’s white vermouth ‘Gold edition” are just a few more to add to the labels list.

In recent years, the label has begun holding private viewings with buyers when introducing their collections. The reason being, they needed the collections to sell before reaching the public because the label was so in demand, Fast Fashion companies were “copycatting” their designs.


Short Facts


The supreme sartorial designs are inspired by modern classicism with a hint of Mediterranean flavour and a dollop of regal flamboyance. The oxymoron “Haute Hippie” is a perfect summation of the label. With its deep, vibrant colours, festive gold filigree and rich embroidery the brand conveys a powerful and unconventional style. 


Dolce & Gabbana is well known for its solid DNA. The label is unmistakable. Between underwear as outerwear, gangster like pinstripe suits and animal prints, the designs create striking looks and risqué femininity. A few key pieces are the ‘Sicilian Dress’ (named as one of the 100 most important dresses ever designer, according to Hal Rubenstein) and ‘La Turlington’, a double-breasted jacket dedicated to renowned model, Christy Turlington.

Designer History

1985 – Present Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Who wears it?


1985 - Who said accountants are boring

Despite their rocky start, the duo are on their way to success. Due to bookkeeping advice, the brand is born and Dolce & Gabbana start their journey of taking over the fashion world. The start is going well and permits them to open their first store and design a lingerie and beachwear line.

1989 - To strive is to succeed

Opening a showroom and launching the first men’s collection are but the tip of the iceberg. In the coming years Dolce & Gabbana also launch a perfume line, partner with Madonna creating 1500 costumes for her international ‘Girlie Show” tour for the “Erotica” album, create a bridal line (which is discontinued in ’98) and launch a 2nd line called D&G, for a younger audience. These are very ambitious times for Dolce & Gabbana.

1995 - Proliferate

The label is awarded two years in a row for ‘Designer of the Year” by FHM. Even though they are more than successful, the duo decides to branch out even further in 1998 and introduce an Eyewear line, in ‘00 it’s timepieces and D&G underwear. In ’01 it’s D&G Junior, a children’s line. 

2009 - Mirror, Mirror

Actor Scarlett Johansson is to be the face for the advertising campaign introducing their new cosmetics collection, and in 2011 the brand starts a jewellery line. In an attempt to strengthen and energize the mother brand, Dolce & Gabbana fuse with their daughter D&G in 2012. With this, infusing their own main lines with the flamboyance and liveliness that D&G have to offer. 

2014 - Success is overrated

Dolce & Gabbana have over 287 mono brand stores in more than 40 countries worldwide. The success is grandiose. Their name is almost tainted by tax fraud allegations. The matter is taken to court and the duo face jail time. Thankfully, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana win the case and their names are cleared again.





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