Design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are known for making “stars look like stars”. Their sexy styles are often to be seen on the likes of Isabella Rossellini, Demi Moore, Nicole Kidman and Madonna, for whom they created the now-famous “Kylie Minogue” tribute T-shirt. They also created the costumes for Madonna’s Girlie Show in 1993, as well as Whitney Houston’s 1999 tour.
Partners both in life and in business, the pair met while working as assistants in an atelier in Milan. Sharing a love of the baroque, they made their name together in 1985, when the organisers of the Milano Collezioni invited them to take part in a fashion show to launch “New Talents”. The following year, they presented their first independent women’s ready-to-wear show. Since then, they have introduced menswear and a line of signature fragrances, and opened shops in Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and, in 1999,in London.
Originally inspired by eclectic, thrift shop Bohemia, Dolce & Gabbana’s deeply coloured, animal prints have been described as “haute hippydom” taking inspiration in particular from Italy’s prestigious film history. “When we design it’s like a movie,” says Domenico Dolce. “We think of a story and we design the clothes to go with it.” They claim to be more concerned about creating the best, most flattering clothes than sparking trends, once admitting that they wouldn’t mind if their only contribution to fashion history was a black bra.