Domenico Dolce is one of the founders of the Italian brand Dolce&Gabbana. For more than 30 years, the designer, together with partner Stefano Gabbana, has been celebrating the beauty of compatriots, embodied in fashionable clothes. What is the secret of the strength of the creative union and what is the contribution of Dolce to the formation of Dolce&Gabbana?
The designer was born in 1958. He is Italian. Domenico spent his early years in a village near the city of Palermo in Sicily.
The Dolce were a family with strong patriarchal foundations. Domenico, along with his brother and sister, were brought up with respect for traditions, religion and work.
The designer's father ran a small clothing business and introduced his son to the family craft. Domenico showed a talent for tailoring at the age of 6.
Dolce chose the School of Fashion Design at the Instituto Maragnoni in Milan for his professional education.
Domenico entered the university, but after studying for several semesters, he dropped out of school. He thought he had enough knowledgeto work in the fashion industry. Dolce began his career as a freelance designer and assistant in a tailor shop. Domenico dreamed of a career in the fashion house of Giorgio Armani.
In 1980, while working as an assistant in the Milan workshop of Corregiari, Dolce met his future colleague.
Stefano Gabbana is five years younger than Domenico. Mila is his hometown. Unlike Dolce, Stefano belonged to the golden youth class. The bohemian Gabbana family encouraged their son's artistic talent and his love for fashionable expensive clothes. The young man graduated from the university with a degree in creative director and gained experience in the Corregiari atelier.
Future partners were opposites in the nature and circumstances of the biography. Spending a lot of time at the same desktop, they were able to find common ground. Both appreciated quality clothing and were inspired by the classics of Italian cinema - films with Sophia Loren and Anna Magnani.
Common interests rallied young designers. Forced collaboration resulted in personal sympathy and professional cooperation.
After a year and a half as assistants, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have quit to start their own business.
The workshop of the Italian duet was founded in 1983. The debut collection of clothes, due to financial difficulties, was demonstrated 2 years later.
The show, where fashion designers for the first time sang the beauty of an Italian woman, turned out to be triumphant and putthe beginning of the successful development of the Dolce&Gabbana brand.
In 1987, the design duo attracted foreign investors. Dolce and Gabbana have opened several branded boutiques at home and abroad. Three years later, the Dolce&Gabbana women's collection was complemented by a men's collection, lingerie and knitwear.
In 1992, a perfume line was founded. The first fragrance, the namesake of the brand, combined the classic components of women's perfume - flowers and musk - with Italian herbs. Dolce&Gabbana Parfum is the ancestor of a collection of bestsellers, including Light Blue, The One and others.
In 1994, designers introduced a line of denim. Artistically ripped jeans are a Dolce&Gabbana bestseller. They are popular with customers and are popular with fake branded clothing.
In the mid-1990s, Italians rejected the key trends of the decade - the sloppiness of grunge and the "expensive poverty" of minimalism. Dolce&Gabbana championed the image of the luxurious Sicilian woman and elevated its elements to the rank of iconic fashion symbols.
They have turned lace lingerie into an outerwear piece and leopard print into a classic everyday piece. According to the Italians, eroticism does not mean exposing the body. A girl in a man's suit can look more sensual than in a low-cut dress. The design duo's finds, showcased in the 1990s, have become classics of Dolce&Gabbana style.
In the early 2000s, the company expanded with children's clothing and sportswear lines. Since 2004, the brand has been responsiblefor the official and training suits of the AC Milan football players.
Since 2012, the designer duo has been creating a line called Alta Moda, an analogue of the French Haute Couture. The production is dominated by manual work. The models are decorated using traditional Sicilian handicraft techniques.
Dolce & Gabbana design is a celebrity hit. They choose Dolce & Gabbana dresses and suits for red carpets and performances. The first star client was Madonna. Today, the list of famous brand fans includes Monica Bellucci, Sophia Loren, Justin Bieber, Sting, Yana Rudkovskaya and many others.
Domenico and Stefano see beauty in diversity. They often invite clients to showcase their collections on the runway. Real people also appear in advertising campaigns for Dolce and Gabbana. Pictures with stories about simple family joys have become a trademark of Dolce&Gabbana.
Today, the Italian brand is a large-scale fashion empire offering clothes, cosmetics and accessories for the whole family. The staff exceeds 3500 people. More than 110 brand boutiques have been opened worldwide, and the annual turnover is estimated at about 1 billion euros.
Designers admit that over the years of Dolce &Gabbana's existence, they have become accustomed to working together and have become a single whole. Domenico and Stefano are not considering a possible individual career.
Italians work on collections together. Being opposites intemperament and creative inclinations, fashion designers share areas of responsibility.
Domenico Dolce is a real craftsman, calm and stubborn introvert. A recognized master of tailoring, at Dolce&Gabbana he is responsible for the technical aspects - silhouettes and construction of garments, materials with which a design idea can be brought to life. On vacation, Domenico prefers solitude. He specializes in Sicilian family recipes.
Stefano Gabbana is a typical extrovert, talkative and emotional. A freelance artist by nature, he is responsible for the creative spirit, public image of Dolce & Gabbana and interaction with the audience. Club life attracts Stefano in his spare time.
Designers emphasize that the balance of power in their duet is equal. The key idea of the collection is approved by joint efforts. Final decisions are also subject to mutual agreement.
Domenico Dolce today is an open homosexual. He realized that he was gay by the age of 16, but for a long time he hid his gay orientation. In the patriarchal Sicilian outback, Dolce's tendencies would not have found sympathy.
In the early 1980s, the founders of Dolce&Gabbana became partners in their personal lives. Gabbana was Domenico Dolce's boyfriend for 30 years. The designers gave official confirmation of their love affair in the early 2000s.
The couple broke up in 2005. The gap did not prevent Dolce and Gabbana from maintaining a warm relationship and a fruitful business. Stefano says the partner is still takinga special place among his loved ones.
In 2017, there were rumors about a new chosen one Domenico Dolce. Photos found on social networks made it possible to establish the identity of his companion. This is the Brazilian publisher Guillermo Siqueira. The designer himself and his friend do not deny the rumors, but the news has not yet received official confirmation.
Dolce speaks to the press with his partner. Their answers to journalists' questions form the image of the brand and characterize the individuality of each of the designers. Dolce's iconic sayings are below.
About the philosophy of Dolce&Gabbana:
We have built our fashion around three fundamental ideas: Sicily, sewing and tradition. Our dream is to create a timeless style and things so individual that when looking at them there is no doubt: this is Dolce and Gabbana.
About her clothes:
If you open my wardrobe, you will get bored.
I'm getting rid of all the things I don't wear and donating them to charity.
About the workflow:
Each of our collections is like a movie. We are writing a screenplay starring a Sicilian woman traveling the world.
About family and vocation:
My mom is a trendsetter and my dad inherited the sewing tradition, so fashion has always been a part of life.
I drink a lot. About 10-12 cups of coffee a day, Italian or espresso…
My morning routine is pretty banal. I have breakfast at home reading the newspaper, I take a shower, I get dressed, I put on cologne and here I am, ready to go!
The Dolce&Gabbana brand is a constant in the world of modern fashion. The design duo celebrates the eternal values of Mediterranean culture and the beauty of Italian women. Thanks to Domenico Dolce, the brand acquired national traditions of sewing craftsmanship and found a source of inspiration in the face of a beautiful Sicilian woman.