Luxe fashion is what made Dolce & Gabbana famous, but now their fragrance range is just as well-known. Founded in the 1980’s, the decade of excess and extravagance, the label specialise not only in high end fashion, they also make fresh, youthful collections and sell them in boutiques across the world. So, it’s no surprise that their perfumes and aftershaves are always popular, reaching iconic status.
Domenico Dolce was born in Sicily 1958. His father was a tailor and his mother sold fabrics. He moved to Milan to study fashion but dropped out before he graduated. In 1980 Dolce met Milan native Stefano Gabbana through Dolce’s employer, designer Girogio Correggiara. Stefano Gabbana was born in 1962, his father worked in a printing factory and his mother worked for a laundry service. Gabbana graduated from the Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche, a design institute in Rome. In 1983 they both left Correggiari to work on their own; two years later they launched Dolce & Gabbana.
Their first collection was shown in October 1985 alongside five other up and coming fashion labels as part of Milan Fashion Week. The pair were limited on funding and used their friends as models as well as their personal accessories to compliment the garments. The show wasn’t very successful and for the next collection they borrowed money from Dolce’s family. It was only when they launched their fourth collection that is made a splash in the fashion pool. The photographs were in black and white, inspired by the Sicilian 1940’s cinema screens with the Dutch model Marpessa Hennink. One of the dresses in the collection featured in 100 most important dresses ever designed and was considered ‘the most representative piece of this era’ for the brand. In 1987 the duo launched a separate knitwear line and in 1989 a lingerie and beachwear line followed. In 1990 they moved to their first official offices and produced high fashion goods with high price tags.
In 1992 the first men’s collection was launched along with Dolce & Gabbanas first fragrance. They won ‘Oscar des Parfums’ for best male perfume in 1996 which was revolutionary as they were the first Italian brand to be awarded this prize. That same year Dolce & Gabbana launched their second main line D&G. This line was aimed at a younger market. The brand for the runway show were forward thinking and streamed the runway show only on the internet as a technical experiment. They worked with A-listers such as Madonna, Beyoncé and Missy Elliot. In 2005 they journeyed into leather goods for men and women and cosmetics with Scarlett Johansson as the face of the advertising campaign. In 2012 The lines merged again to strengthen the main line. Today the brand is still one of the leading names in the fashion world, having 93 boutiques, 11 factory outlets and is stocked in 251 stores.