Few brands can have a history so rich in irreverence and sensuality. But Dolce & Gabbana has always used these two powers to transform fashion and create a style strongly imprinted by a romantic and feminine aesthetic. In their pieces, we see the baroque embracing the charm of southern Italian life, in a union dressed in noble fabrics, vibrant colors, delicate details, and many embroideries reminiscent of the Venetian Burano.
A summer with six hands
If the duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is already powerful, imagine what can happen when Kim Kardashian joins them. That’s what happened. A surprising show in Milan presented the spring-summer collection. Months before, in an informal conversation, the designers realized the fascination that the American businesswoman felt for their creations, much because of her mother, who always wore pieces of the Italian brand, and even her dogs were named Dolce and Gabbana.
Once it was all agreed, it was decided that Kardashian would sign the new collection, Ciao, Kim. Archives were gathered, from the 1990s and the Y2K era, and some already forgotten pieces were found. The show in Milan took place in the same place where, since 2005, the duo shows their work, the Metropol, which is now owned by the brand. Right from the start Kim Kardashian took on the role of an Italian muse and chose some models from 1987 to 2007, which were adjusted and updated by the designers with her input. Women walked up and down the runway wearing underwear adorned with crystals, transparent dresses, jumpsuits, and corsets, among many other nostalgic pieces, with the particularity of having a tailor tag indicating the year the piece was introduced. The monochromatic colors helped to prevent distraction from the models, who perfectly embodied an era that went back almost twenty years ago.
Every story has a beginning, and this one comes from a major conjunction of thoughts that brought together, in 1985, the two people in one of the most desired luxury brands in the world. It was that year that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana presented their first collection, Real Women, whose highlight was the Sicilian dress.
A piece inspired by a combination of organza and silk, with adjustable straps and a straight, that gently slides down flattering the silhouette. The entire collection, designed and made by both of them, was inspired by real women, Sicilian, austere but extremely seductive. Since they could not afford to hire professional models, some of their friends wore the clothes and walked the impressive runway in Milan.
Later, they created the Dolce & Gabbana label earning their permanent place in fashion. Over the following years, the brand would continue to be associated with feminine sensuality and glamour, reflecting the Sicilian heritage in corsets, black stockings, crosses, and stiletto heels. In 2015, the creative duo presented a collection worn by models who carried their babies down the runway or held them by the hand, and pregnant women proud of their bellies.
Going back to the timeline, we know that Domenico and Stefano opened the first showroom in 1987, in Milan, which captured the eyes of Madonna and Isabella Rossellini; from then on they never stopped surprising, also opening the first stores in Milan and Tokyo, where they held a fashion show in 1989, and Hong Kong. At the end of this decade, Isabella Rossellini is photographed by Steven Meisel, for the launch of the beach and lingerie collections.
Due ragazzi al mondo
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana introduced a new luxury, not the least conventional. The clothes they idealize feature a style with new forms of elegance, transforming the classic into modern fully marked by creativity. The Dolce & Gabbana brand has evolved without ever losing its identity and its Mediterranean roots. As they entered the 90’s they presented their first men’s collection and almost at the same time they packed their bags and left for New York to present a collection in the Fashion Week.
It was a resounding success and the creative duo opened a showroom at 532 Broadway. This decade was not yet half over, and ties, scarves, lingerie, and men’s beachwear were already available for sale in various places. In 1993, Cindy Crawford walked the runway for the brand in a patchwork skirt completed with a black corset, and Naomi Campbell wore a white shirt with a stone-embellished men’s suit.
In 1992 they launched their first perfume, Dolce & Gabbana Parfum, and in October of the same year, they created their first bridal collection.
Each dress was and always will be a hymn to purity and candor, manufactured with lightweight fabrics or lace, carrying with it a bit of the bride’s history that blends with the Sicilian scents. This is also the decade Madonna chooses the designers to design the 1500 costumes for The Girlie Show world tour. And, if everything that happened before was not enough for Domenico and Stefano to be on everyone’s lips, from here on it certainly was.
Because of the fame already achieved, they created, in 1994, the D&G brand, targeted at the younger audience and at more accessible prices. They presented their first collection, opening a store in Venice later on.
Their first male perfume, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme, was also launched at this time, and, in 1995, sunny days became more beautiful with the dark lenses sunglass collection created by the duo. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they published the book Ten Years of Dolce & Gabbana.
In 1997, they release two music CDs, D&G Music and D&G More More More. The last year of this decade is marked by the production of the entire wardrobe for the now deceased Whitney Houston’s 1999 World Tour. Thus, during the 90’s, almost everything was achieved, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were among the most important fashion designers on the planet, with brand representation or their own stores in the most influential world cities.
When it all began
The story of these two talented young men began in the 1980s in Milan. Domenico Dolce left Sicily and went to the north of Italy in search of new opportunities, and started working as an assistant to the designer Giorgio Correggiari. On a night out, he met Stefano Gabbana and his ideas.
Captivated by Stefano, Domenico advises him to try his luck in the atelier where he was working. Gabbana is soon hired and designs a sportswear collection, while Dolce teaches him to design and sew. In 1983, they leave Giorgio Correggiari and start working together as freelancers, although their invoices were separate. Their accountant, perhaps so as not to have so much work, proposes that they issue only one document, using both of their last names. This is how so, out of nothing, the brand Dolce & Gabbana was created.
Two years later, they are invited to the Milan Fashion Week, and in the emerging talents category, thus the Real Women collection is born. From here on, the designer duo reveals in all the collections a narrative that shows Sicilian pride through the love for family, religious themes, colors, and overwhelming passions.
Kim Kardashian signed the spring-summer 2023 collection.
The history of the design duo begins in 1980 when they were Giorgio Correggiari’s assistants.
In 1987, Domenico and Stefano opened their first showroom in Milan.
Dolce & Gabbana has more than one hundred company-owned stores and eleven outlets around the world.
Dolce & Gabbana is a brand that has made and still makes history.