Dolce & Gabbana want to tell their story in white and black. It’s what they wear, it’s what they sell with their shiny new store and, judging by their clutterless Manhattan office, it’s the things they surround themselves with.
In an interview, they are their lives sound almost simple and simple, speaking in heavily Italian-accented English about coming to the movies or enjoying great Italian bread plus a nibble of salami.
Although the tale of balmain clothing on sale is far more colorful than that: They’re two guys who 22 yrs ago started with 2 million lira — about $1,500 — in their pockets and get since seen their tiny womenswear collection grow to a top-tier brand of clothing, accessories or even a restaurant. Come early 2008, the men of Milan (Gabbana) and Palermo (Dolce) will see their names on two stores in India to enhance an overall of 81 independent boutiques. Their company employs close to 3,500 worldwide.
Normally the one constant with their story: They can be deft. When fashion’s mood was serious, so were they. They were all rock ‘n’ roll when they should be inside the 1990s and from now on they visit a shift to more proper clothes — suits males and lovely dresses for ladies. The ability to shift gears appear to be component of their master plan.
Dolce & Gabbana has already been a go-to brand for celebrities — Madonna is their favorite to wear — and they also draw fashion’s A-list on their runway demonstrates that traditionally have boasted glitz and se-x appeal. On the recent high-powered day, they christened their redesigned Madison Avenue flagship from the company of actors Jason Lewis and Josh Lucas, along with a dinner planned to celebrate their new men’s fragrance with Matthew McConaughey, who’ll star in ads for that One for males. The designers gave Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes personal tours in the glistening retail space the last day.
Whenever they met during the early 1980s employed in the same office in Milan, Gabbana’s background is at graphic design. Dolce was the son of any tailor along with learned the trade with a early age.
Mostly you’ll find the 45-year-old Gabbana at the office. Dolce, 49, is the one to make frequent design scouting trips.
Surely, though, the designers needs to be doing more glamorous things too, since they are making a hard target other men that they need five different looks within their wardrobe, including work clothes, dinner clothes, sport and casual clothes, something trendy for the clubs. The fifth category is aperitif clothes, worn between work and dinner, Gabbana explains.
“Guys are shopping more like women,” Gabbana said. “They may spend more money on clothes, although not clothes for work. They’ll buy maybe four suits a season, nevertheless they love spending on crocodile shoes or cashmere sweaters.”
“Jackets, too,” added Dolce, although he chooses to ward off the chill in the workplace by using a cozy chunky knit sweater over his black shirt, vest and tie.
Men nowadays are seeking a very nice and fashionable 007 style, Dolce says. He notes the slim suit of his design partner.
“It’s about a clever lover, not 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 a label who had largely built its reputation on slinky styles. The designers also are adapting this new philosophy to its womenswear, starting with its much-heralded upcoming spring collection that is romantic and feminine. The emphasis is on delicate dresses.
“We’ve changed a lot of things,” Gabbana said. “We haven’t lost our bodies of the 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 wish to explore this standpoint,” he explained.
The designers pledge that after a number of years centering on building brand awareness and moving into new markets, it’s the clothes and accessories that actually have their own attention now. They’ve also got their eye on their own customers.
The latest store, for example, is ultra modern and roomy — even dressing rooms. Initially, the spot might seem sparse, but, the simple truth is, it’s a luxurious to get space to browse a whole offering of womenswear, menswear, shoes, bags, jewelry and so forth.
It’s hard not to notice the prices, too. It’s standard for dresses and bags to top $1,000, so Dolce & Gabbana items aren’t impulse buys for many people. There exists a more affordable, secondary line called D&G — an outfit is more likely to cost $500 — bought from its own branded stores and also in department and specialty stores.
Thanks to their fine craftsmanship, though, leather jacket says their items are made to last and become fully integrated into one’s closet instead of be worn just on special occasions.