Designers

Fashion Biography

Domenico Dolce, Fashion Designer

INF1213

Fashion Designer Domenico Dolce was born September 13, 1958, in Polizzi Generosa a small village near Palermo, Sicily, and Stefano Gabbana was born November 14, 1962, in Venice, Italy (our picture shows Gabbana and Dolce). Dolce studied fashion design in Sicily and worked in his family"s small clothing factory. But Gabbana had no fashion education; he had studied graphic design.

Dolce and Gabbana met in 1980 when they were working as assistants in an atelier in Milan. When they started business together in 1982, they continued to do free lance designing for others.

Their first collection in 1986 won international acclaim, and their first boutique opened in 1989 in Japan. In 1990 they presented their first men"s collection and opened their first women"s boutique in Milan. That same year, the duo began designing the Complice line for the Genny Group in Milan (Complice had been designed by Versace from 1975 to 1981, and then by Claude Montana until 1987.) Scarves, ties, beachwear, perfume, and accessories were added in 1992.

The company has just published a book called 10 Years of Dolce & Gabbana, illustrating the history of the designer duo through pictures of top fashion photographers. The duo also recently recorded a CD with dancefloor music under the D&G label.

Selected Products
Dolce & Gabbana (men"s and women"s)
La Maglie di Dolce & Gabbana (knitwear), since 1986
Dolce & Gabbana Beachwear, since 1989
L"intimo di Dolce & Gabbana (lingerie), since 1989
D&G (diffusion), since 1994, manufactured by Ittierra S.p.A.
Jeans, since 1995, manufactured by Ittierra S.p.A.
Basic (women"s), until recently available only at Bergdorf"s and in Milan
Dolce & Gabbana Occhiali, since 1996

Selected Awards
Woolmark Award (1990)

Economic Data
Performance
Total ready to wear sales in 1994 were about $265 million, including retailing contributions. The speed the company"s growth is amazing. The sales of licenced lines alone rose mostly triggered by the success of the D&G line from 47 billion Lira ($30 million) in 1993 to 94.3 billion Lira in 1994 ($58 million), and to 155 billion Lira ($97 million) in 1995/1996. The top line sold worth of 120 billion Lira ($75 million) in 1995/1996. Total sales were at 430 billion Lira ($269 million) in 1995/1996.

In 1994, the Italian market accounted for 62% of total sales. In 1995/1996 export overtook the local business in relation to total sales, leaving it at 30%. A shift to higher sales in the US is planned for the future, where the D&G label is believed to have a high potential. A major deal with the Japanese retailer Misaki Shoji, Osaka just secured potential growth in Nippon.

Distribution
D&G licenses its brand names (Dolce & Gabbana, D&G, and &) for fragrances, eyewear, and footwear. It has boutiques around the world, including a handful of company owned locations. Dolce & Gabbana brought many of its production licenses in house in 2000 and introduced a children"s line in 2001.

Production/ Licenses
Dolce Saverio, Legnano, Italy, the company of Domenico Dolce"s father produces the top lines. Modella Tricots, Milan is responsible for knitwear. D&G is produced in license by Ittiere in Isernia, Southern Italy. Eye wear by Dolce & Gabbana is licensed to the eye wear manufacturer Marcolin. Sales with eye wear in Italy alone were in 1996 at 17 billion Lira ($11 million). All production is contracted to partner companies in Italy, but the number of licenses is relatively low: 10.

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By Courtney Lynne
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