Dolce Gabbana is an Italian fashion brand founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. They started designing clothes and, today, the role of their brand has been extended to the design of accessories, mobile phones and even restaurants.
Domenico Dolce was born on August 13, 1958 in Polizzi Generosa, Sicily. Stefano Gabbana was born on November 14, 1962 in Milan. Dolce began designing and making his own clothes at age six. They met on the phone when he called the fashion house where Gabbana worked to ask for employment. After being hired, he taught Gabbana the design process in a fashion house and how to sketch out new designs. Shortly after hiring Dolce, Gabbana was called to one and half years of compulsory military service. On his return, in 1982, together they established a design consultant. They billed separately until an accountant advised them to do so together to facilitate profit. Since then they began to issue invoices to their customers as Dolce & Gabbana.
Their first collection was exhibited in October 1985 at the Fashion Week in Milan, together with other novel brands. They could not afford professional models, so they sought help from their friends. They also had no budget for accessories, so they used their own personal effects to complete the sets. They called this collection ‘Real Women’, partly because of the presence of amateurs on the catwalk. Sales were disappointing and Stefano Gabbana had to cancel the order fabric for his second collection. However, the family of Dolce offered them help when they went to see them that Christmas. In 1986 they made their second collection and opened their own fashion house. Their third collection, ‘Transformation’, included articles with instructions explaining seven different ways to use each item in a set (the person could use velcro and snaps to change clothes to their taste).
Their fourth collection was the first to make a significant impact on the Italian market. Dolce was inspired by his Sicilian roots. The advertising campaign was inspired by the Italian cinema of the forties. One of the most outstanding pieces was known as ‘The Dress Siciliano’, identified by the author Hal Rubenstein as one of the top 100 designed outfits.
In 1987 they brought a line of knitwear, and in 1989 began lingerie and beachwear. In 1990, they released their first menswear collection. In addition, they moved into their first office and began designing costumes and other items of greater cost. Their first major international recognition came in 1990 when Madonna wore a corset made of precious stones and a matching jacket for the premiere of ‘Truth or Dare: In Bed with Madonna’ at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1993 they teamed up with the singer to design more than 1,500 costumes that were used in their international tour ‘Girlie Show’ (the album ‘Erotica’). Their menswear collection in 1991 was awarded the Woolmark Award for the most innovative of the year. In 1994 the characteristic cross-house jacket was called ‘La Turlington’ by the model Christy Turlington. That same year they released their second main line, D & G, which had young people as the target. In 1996 the parade of D & G was only on the Internet, in favor of an experimental movement towards new technologies. They also designed the costumes for the film ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
As for their perfume line, in 1992 they launched their first fragrance for women, ‘Dolce & Gabbana parfum’. It was recognized the following year by the Perfume Academy Award for the Best Female Fragrance of the Year. ‘Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme’, their first fragrance for men, was recognized by the same institution as the received Best Male Fragrance 1995.
-They have more than 3,100 employees.
-In his first parade (1985) used a bed sheet’s house Domenico Dolce as curtain to decorate the stage.
-In his fifth collection they were based on the work of filmmaker Luchino Visconti and his film ‘The Leopard’.
-His Spring / Summer 1990 women’s collection is inspired by the paintings of Raphael.
-As stylists they have worked with various artists in their music videos, including Duran Duran with ‘Girl Panic’.
-In the mid-nineties they caused controversy inspired by the figure of the ‘American gágnster’.
-In 2002, many European designers rediscovered one of his first creations: the corset.
-In 2005 they became the first Italian fashion house to obtain a license to operate directly in China without local partners.