“I don’t think our customers need anything, they just want something special.” Stefano Gabbana, one of the most influential figures in the fashion system, turns sixty today, November 14, 2022.
The Italian designer and entrepreneur founded in 1981, together with Domenico Dolce, the Dolce & Gabbana fashion house, one of the greatest Made in Italy fashion empires, born from the flair and creativity of famous designers.
Stefano Gabbana, the origins
Born in Milan, the second son of a modest family of Venetian origin, his mother was a doorman, his father a worker, Stefano Gabbana began his career studying graphic design and in 1981 he began his professional partnership with the life partner from the Domenico Dolce era, with the who opened a stylistic consultancy in 1984. The following year, Dolce and Gabbana presented their first fashion collection in Milan. The success achieved by the two designers makes the brand one of the most famous and acclaimed in the field of fashion, so much so that in 2004 they were nominated for the Elle Style Award as the best international designers. Although they continued to work together, in 2004 the romantic relationship between the two creators came to an end. Stefano Gabbana even testified to the Lancia Ypsilon television advertising campaign. In March 2013, for Forbes magazine, he was the 16th richest man in Italy and the 736th richest man in the world.
Private life and origin of the brand
From 1982 to 2003, Stefano Gabbana had a love affair as mentioned with Domenico Dolce. The two separate after twenty years of love, but maintain excellent relations and collaboration with the Dolce & Gabbana brand. A few years after the end of this important relationship, Stefano begins dating Luca Santonastaso, a hairdresser from Caserta. Stefano and Domenico know each other, a little more than boys, when Domenico Dolce telephones the fashion company for which Stefano Gabbana works. A sympathy is born between the two, the opportunity for Stefano to enter this world which has always fascinated him. Subsequently, Dolce and Gabbana, who had become life companions, began to work together. Stefano takes Domenico under his protective wing, introducing him to the craft and explaining the design processes in the fashion industry.
Gabbana creates a consulting company in the design sector with Dolce. At first the two work separately, but later they start charging together. Thus was born the name Dolce & Gabbana, which became the name of the design company.
The first collections
In the fall of 1985, the couple showed their proposals at Milan Fashion Week. However, with no money available to pay the models, the two ask their friends for help. Their first collection is called Real Women, and it just makes reference to the fact that professional models weren’t used to show it off. However, sales are disappointing, to the point that Stefano Gabbana is forced to cancel the fabric order sent. When the couple went to Sicily for the Christmas holidays, it was Dolce’s family who offered to pay for the supply: thus, on their return to Milan, the two found the desired fabric. In 1986, they created another collection and opened their first store, while the following year they launched a line of sweaters.
In 1989, the couple designed a line of swimwear and underwear and signed an agreement with the Kashiyama group under which they opened their first store in Japan, while the following year they launched the first men’s collection of the brand.
Dolce and Gabbana in the 90s
Meanwhile, the couple’s popularity grew: the Spring Summer 1990 women’s collection stood out for its crystal-covered dresses, while the Fall/Winter 1991 collection featured filigree medallions, pendants and ornate corsets. In 1991, the Dolce & Gabbana men’s collection was considered the most innovative of the year and awarded. The two launch Dolce & Gabbana Parfum, the brand’s first women’s fragrance, and begin collaborating with Madonna, who shows up at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a jeweled corset by the creative duo, the singer for her Girlie Show tour orders more than 1,500 disguises.
In 1994, the fashion house named La Turlington a double-breasted jacket inspired by model Christy Turlington, while the company launched D&G, only with the initials of the two designers’ surnames, the second line of the mark for the youngest. . At the same time, the Dolce & Gabbana Home collection is also launched. After starring in Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1995 film The Man of the Stars, the same year Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme was nominated by the Perfume Academy as Best Men’s Fragrance of the Year, Domenico and Stefano designed the movie costumes. Romeo + Juliet.
Stefano Gabbana exits
“I knew straight away that I liked boys when I was five or six, but it took a long time for me to accept myself. I denied it even to myself.” Poi l’ incontro della vita, con Domenico, e la storia d’amore senza fine: “Vivi per vent’anni con una persona: semper insieme, ogni giorno e ogni notte, lavoro, vacanze, ogni pensiero, ogni minuto, ogni gesto, tout. What is it if not a wedding? And the decision, overnight, to release a weekly.
The family don’t know anything, but deep down they always knew: “I hadn’t told anyone about this interview. Perhaps out of naivety. Or maybe because I didn’t want to face the problem”. The fact is that the mother breaks down in tears when the news comes on TV. The first concern is how to justify yourself to neighbors and relatives. Stefano, warned, calls her: “Mom, I’m not a thief, I’m not a murderer. Instead of loving a woman I love a man, what difference does that make to you? Anything. So what is the problem? “. From that day on, no more objections. Today, Stefano and Domenico are no longer together, but their love has changed: “Domenico is my family, he is the love of my life. is infinite love.” Breaking up and continuing to get along, respecting each other is a lesson in love that everyone should learn.
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