Dolce & Gabbana
Domenico Dolce (born 13 August 1958 in Polizzi Generosa, Sicily) began his career in the fashion industry after dropping out of a three-year course in fashion design at Marangoni Institute, believing that he knew everything the school had to teach. His dream was to work for Giorgio Armani so one day, he carried his book of sketches over to Armani’s headquarters with the intention of showing the designer his work. Inside the door, there was a long white carpet leading to the receptionist’s desk. Dolce was not sure if he should walk on it with his shoes on. “I am such a cretino”, he says. “I know nothing”. He decided that he would look ridiculous appearing at the front desk without shoes, so he approached by sidling along the wall, where he could step without sullying the carpet. He handed the book to the receptionist and to this day, Dolce does not know if Armani ever saw the sketches.
Dolce found a job as an assistant to a designer named Giorgio Correggiari. One night at a club, he met a young man named Stefano Gabbana (born on 14 November 1962 in Milan, Italy). Dolce was impressed with Gabbana’s good looks and outgoing personality and Gabbana was happy to hear Dolce’s advice on how to approach Correggiari for a job. Correggiari ended up hiring Gabbana to work on sportswear, and Dolce taught him how to sketch and the basics of tailoring, and in the process they became a couple.
Soon after his hiring, Gabbana was conscripted for 18 months of mandatory military service, but in 1983, after his return in 1982, they had parted ways with Correggiari and were living together in a one-room loft where they often practised sketching. Dolce: “We always filed two different invoices for the freelance work we did, even when we were working for the same client”. Gabbana: “Our accountant said, ‘Why not just do one invoice for both of you? Put Dolce and Gabbana at the top'”. So the brand was born, the brainchild of a Milanese bookkeeper.
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