Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have revealed that they have rejected all offers to buy their business and that the brand will die when they do.
The business partners have formed a trust which neither of them can touch which will safeguard the future of the brand should one of them die and when they both die, the brand will too. The trust was established when the pair split up as a couple in 2004.
“When we split up, we said to ourselves that it was better to divide up everything, because if I took a blow to the head the next day he would have found himself dealing with someone not involved in the industry, like for example my cousin, who could ruin the business,” Gabbana told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“We have rejected all offers to buy [Dolce & Gabbana]. One can have a lot of money but if you are not free, what do you do with it?” Dolce added.
The pair did not reveal which approaches they had received for the brand, which achieved sales of €1.3bn in the year ending March 2017, nor did they give any further details of the trust. But they confirmed that once both designers are gone, the brand will go with them. “I don’t want a Japanese designer to design for Dolce & Gabbana,” Gabbana said.
Dolce and Gabbana met in Milan in 1982 and established a design consulting studio. They showed their first womenswear collection at Milan Fashion Week in 1985 as part of an initiative to showcase up-and-coming talent. By their fourth collection they had hit upon “the Sicilian dress”, a form fitting slip dress with built-in bra (usually in black), which has become a cornerstone of their collections ever since and is deemed to be one of the most important dress silhouettes of the modern fashion era.
Today the brand encompasses collections for men, women and children as well as accessories, watches, jewellery, eyewear and fragrances. A younger diffusion line, D&G, was merged into the main line in 2012.