Why the Dolce and Gabbana Brand Will Die With its Designers

by Fashion news, Bethan Holt and features director, The Telegraph, April 6, 2018

The fashion industry thrives on a seemingly unending game of musical chairs as designers move from one house to another, often ushering in sweeping changes of creative direction which affect everything from the clothes on the catwalk to the tiles on store floors. 

There is no danger of such a transformation befalling Dolce and Gabbana, however, where maximalist mediterranean prints, silhouette-cinching lace dresses and opulently basilica-worthy jewels will go with the eponymous designers to their graves, they have said.

“Once we’re dead, we’re dead. I don’t want a Japanese designer to start designing Dolce & Gabbana,” Domenico Dolce told Italy’s Corriere della Sera. 

The duo said that they had rejected numerous takeover bids for the label which they began together in 1985, when they were a couple. Although they split in 2004, they have continued to work together, dressing Madonna, Melania Trump, the Duchess of Cambridge and many more. 

“One can have a lot of money but if you are not free, what do you do with it?” Domenico Dolce, 55, said. In the financial year ending in March 2017, turnover rose by 9% to 1.296 billion dollars with a net profit of 80 million euros.

“When we split up, we said to ourselves that it was better to divide up everything, because if I took a blow to the head the next day he would have found himself dealing with someone not involved in the industry, like for example my cousin, who could ruin the business,” Stefano Gabbana explained. “We have created a trust neither of us can touch.”

Famed for their more is more approach, Dolce and Gabbana’s repertoire includes extravagant biannual ready-to-wear shows at Milan fashion week, ‘secret’ shows for their clique of millennial ambassadors (among them Sistine Stallone, Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis and Lady Amelia Windsor) as well as a roster of events around the globe- five days of parties and shows kicked off yesterday [Friday] in New York which will take in the unveiling of the latest Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections- the pair’s idiosyncratic take on haute couture. 

The standout catwalk looks from Milan Fashion Week

Last month, Stella McCartney regained complete control of her label after a 17-year-long partnership with luxury conglomerate Kering, which also owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent. “It is the right moment to acquire the full control of the company bearing my name,” she said. “This opportunity represents a crucial patrimonial decision for me.”

There are plenty of cautionary tales which may have persuaded Dolce and Gabbana that independence should be a priority. The designer Jil Sander lost control of her own label after Prada acquired a 75% share in 2000- since then she has only returned for two year-long stints. Donna Karan resigned from the brand she built on woman-friendly ideas of power dressing in 2015. The following year, LVMH sold the name to American licencing company G-III for $650 million. 

Besides, nobody could craft a cherub-adorned dress or crucifix-embroidered coat quite like Dolce and Gabbana. 


This article was written by Fashion news, Bethan Holt and features director from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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