In a surprising twist, acclaimed designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have redefined their vision for the future of the iconic Dolce & Gabbana brand. Previously, they had expressed their desire for the brand to cease operations upon their departure. However, their latest announcement signals a change of heart – they now envision the Dolce family as the natural successors to carry forward their illustrious legacy.
Gabbana recently unveiled this transformative vision in an interview with Vogue Business, providing insights into the brand’s carefully considered succession plans. The Dolce family, deeply ingrained in the company’s history, recently convened to deliberate on its future.
This announcement marks a significant departure from their previous stance. In April 2018, Gabbana had emphatically stated that the brand’s continuity after their passing was inconceivable, proclaiming, «Once we’re gone, we’re gone. I don’t want a foreign designer taking the reins of Dolce & Gabbana,» in an interview with the Italian daily newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.
The Dolce family has played a pivotal role within the company for decades. Domenico’s parents relocated from Sicily to Milan to provide unwavering support to the dynamic duo during the inception of D&G. Furthermore, his 54-year-old brother, Alfonso, serves as the company’s CEO, while his sister, Dora, aged 64, spearheads research and development for the brand’s ready-to-wear line. This familial involvement extends to Domenico’s nephews and nieces, with Giuseppina Cannizzaro overseeing haute couture and her brother Christian heading the shoes and accessories division.
With Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana holding a 40% stake in D&G each, the remaining ownership lies with the Dolce family through Alfonso and Dora. The prevailing sentiment is to pass the baton exclusively to the Dolce family, categorically ruling out any possibility of a sale. Gabbana passionately describes the brand as «our child» and likens it to a cherished offspring, emphasizing that «You are a parent, and you don’t part with your children. We’ve been fortunate, and we have no desire to be the wealthiest in the graveyard.»
Dolce & Gabbana, a global fashion powerhouse with a workforce of 5,500 employees, achieved an impressive 4.6% growth in revenues, reaching a total of 1.35 billion euros in its most recent fiscal year (2018/19). Notably, this growth was achieved despite challenges in the Chinese market, where the brand faced a boycott following the publication of comments and a video that were perceived as racially insensitive.