Dolce & Gabbana wish to tell their story in white and black. It’s whatever they wear, it’s anything they sell inside their shiny new store and, judging by their clutterless Manhattan office, it’s anything they surround themselves with.
In an interview, they can make their lives sound almost simple and easy simple, speaking in heavily Italian-accented English about visiting the movies or enjoying great Italian bread as well as a nibble of salami.
Although the tale of designer clothes is far more colorful than that: They’re two guys who 22 years ago started with 2 million lira — about $1,500 — with their pockets and have since seen their tiny womenswear collection grow to a top-tier make of clothing, accessories or even a restaurant. Come early 2008, the men of Milan (Gabbana) and Palermo (Dolce) will spot their names on two stores in India to include in an overall of 81 independent boutiques. Their company employs close to 3,500 worldwide.
The main one constant within their story: They may be deft. When fashion’s mood was serious, so were they. These people were all rock ‘n’ roll whenever they should be in the 1990s and now they notice a shift to more proper clothes — suits for guys and lovely dresses for ladies. The capability to shift gears is apparently part of their master plan.
Dolce & Gabbana is definitely a go-to brand for celebrities — Madonna is favorite to wear — plus they draw fashion’s A-list to their runway shows that traditionally have boasted glitz and se-x appeal. On a recent high-powered day, they christened their redesigned Madison Avenue flagship in 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 The One for guys. The designers gave Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes personal tours in the glistening retail space the prior day.
After they met during the early 1980s operating in the identical office in Milan, Gabbana’s background is at graphic design. Dolce was the son of a tailor and had learned the trade at the early age.
Mostly you’ll get the 45-year-old Gabbana at the office. Dolce, 49, may be the anyone to make frequent design scouting trips.
Surely, though, the designers must be doing more glamorous things too, since they are building a hard target other men they need five different looks in their wardrobe, including work clothes, dinner clothes, sport and casual clothes, something trendy for that clubs. The fifth category is aperitif clothes, worn between work and dinner, Gabbana explains.
“Guys are shopping similar to women,” Gabbana said. “They may spend more on clothes, yet not clothes for work. They’ll buy maybe four suits a season, but they love spending on crocodile shoes or cashmere sweaters.”
“Jackets, too,” added Dolce, although he chooses to prevent the chill at the office with a cozy chunky knit sweater over his black shirt, vest and tie.
Men nowadays are looking for an excellent and stylish James Bond style, Dolce says. He notes the slim suit of his design partner.
“It’s about a clever lover, not much of a playboy. A black suit, white shirt is all about the feeling in the guy. It’s an envelope. What’s important is what’s inside.”
This thought is undoubtedly an evolution for the label who had largely built its reputation on slinky styles. The designers are adapting this new philosophy to the womenswear, beginning with its much-heralded upcoming spring collection that may be romantic and feminine. The emphasis is on delicate dresses.
“We’ve changed a lot of things,” Gabbana said. “We haven’t lost the entire body of a 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 would like to explore this viewpoint,” he said.
The designers pledge that after several years concentrating on building brand awareness and getting into new markets, it’s the garments and accessories that truly their very own attention now. They’ve also got their eye on their own customers.
The new store, by way of example, is ultra modern and roomy — including the dressing rooms. At first, the area might appear sparse, but, the simple truth is, it’s a luxury to have space to browse a full offering of womenswear, menswear, shoes, bags, jewelry and so forth.
It’s hard to never notice the prices, too. It’s standard for dresses and bags to top $one thousand, so Dolce & Gabbana items aren’t impulse buys for most of us. You will find a cheaper, secondary line called D&G — a gown is very likely to cost $500 — bought from its very own branded stores and in department and specialty stores.
Thanks to their fine craftsmanship, though, costume nationale says their products are made to last and be fully incorporated into one’s closet and not be worn just on special occasions.