Dolce & Gabbana wish to tell their story in black and white. It’s what they wear, it’s what they sell in their shiny new store and, judging by their clutterless Manhattan office, it’s the things they surround themselves with.
In a interview, they create their lives sound almost basic and simple, speaking in heavily Italian-accented English about coming to the movies or enjoying great Italian bread along with a nibble of salami.
Nevertheless the tale of versace jeans is far more colorful than that: They’re two guys who 22 in the past started with 2 million lira — about $1,500 — with their pockets and also have since seen their tiny womenswear collection grow into a top-tier model of clothing, accessories and even a restaurant. Come early 2008, the men of Milan (Gabbana) and Palermo (Dolce) will see their names on two stores in India to add to a total of 81 independent boutiques. Their company employs close to 3,500 worldwide.
Usually the one constant within their story: They are deft. When fashion’s mood was serious, so were they. They were all rock ‘n’ roll when they should be from the 1990s and today they notice a shift to more proper clothes — suits males and lovely dresses for ladies. The opportunity to shift gears appear to be part of their master plan.
Dolce & Gabbana is definitely a go-to brand for celebrities — Madonna could be the favorite to wear — and so they draw fashion’s A-list for their runway reveals that traditionally have boasted glitz and se-x appeal. Over a recent high-powered day, they christened their redesigned Madison Avenue flagship within the company of actors Jason Lewis and Josh Lucas, and had a dinner planned to celebrate their new men’s fragrance with Matthew McConaughey, who’ll star in ads for your One males. The designers gave Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes personal tours from the glistening retail space the prior day.
After they met during the early 1980s doing work in a similar office in Milan, Gabbana’s background is at graphic design. Dolce was the son of your tailor and had learned the trade with a young age.
Mostly you’ll find the 45-year-old Gabbana at the office. Dolce, 49, is the anyone to make frequent design scouting trips.
Surely, though, the designers must be doing more glamorous things too, since they are setting up a hard sell to other men that they need five different looks inside their wardrobe, including work clothes, dinner clothes, sport and casual clothes, something trendy to the clubs. The fifth category is aperitif clothes, worn between work and dinner, Gabbana explains.
“Males are shopping similar to women,” Gabbana said. “They will spend more on clothes, but not clothes for work. They’ll buy maybe four suits a season, nevertheless they love shelling out for crocodile shoes or cashmere sweaters.”
“Jackets, too,” added Dolce, although he chooses to fend off the chill in the workplace having a cozy chunky knit sweater over his black shirt, vest and tie.
Men nowadays are seeking an awesome and fashionable James Bond style, Dolce says. He notes the slim suit of his design partner.
“It’s in regards to a clever lover, not really a playboy. A black suit, white shirt is all about the sense of your guy. It’s an envelope. What’s important is what’s inside.”
This thought is definitely an evolution for the label that had largely built its reputation on slinky styles. The designers also are adapting this new philosophy to its womenswear, beginning with its much-heralded upcoming spring collection which is romantic and feminine. The emphasis is on delicate dresses.
“We’ve changed a lot of things,” Gabbana said. “We haven’t lost your body of the woman but we made the collection more soft. … Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten se-xy.”
“Our vision doesn’t change each season. We should explore this point of view,” he was quoted saying.
The designers pledge that after a couple of years concentrating on building brand awareness and getting into new markets, it’s the clothes and accessories that really have their own attention now. They’ve also got their eye on his or her customers.
The newest store, as an example, is ultra modern and roomy — the dressing rooms. Initially, the area might seem sparse, but, the truth is, it’s a high end to have space to browse a whole offering of womenswear, menswear, shoes, bags, jewelry and so forth.
It’s hard to not see the costs, too. It’s standard for dresses and bags to top $one thousand, so Dolce & Gabbana items aren’t impulse buys for many individuals. There is a less expensive, secondary line called D&G — a dress is more prone to cost $500 — available in its own branded stores and then in department and specialty stores.
Because of their fine craftsmanship, though, d&g shirts says their goods are supposed to last and grow fully incorporated into one’s closet and not be worn just on special occasions.