Arguably two of the most iconic figures in fashion, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been celebrating the glamour and culture of Italy through clothes since the ‘80s. Often thematic and tongue-in-cheek, their collections transcend trends and are defined by opulent embellishments, retro femininity and vibrant prints.

Dolce and Gabbana or colloquially “D&G”, has permeated its honour through an excessive and bold aesthetic. The elaborate and expansive brand of Dolce and Gabbana has now amassed a large reach over 30 years of its existence. Having found a strong identity in its years of history, being luxurious yet unconventional, this sentiment can still ring true today in the second decade of the 21st Century.

Amongst Italian Fashion, the norms and ideals confined to the industry during D&G’s uprising stood true to the brand, beauty, harmony and extravagance. Classical harmony was not the main aspect of D&G’s saga though, their notable references and citations emphasised the most crucial social and historical indices. Rhetoric, ironic and parodic elements of Dolce and Gabbana’s repertoire, are also important to note. An emphasis on the unnatural, per se, while maintaining “sexy” tailoring, is a succinct way to abbreviate Dolce and Gabbana’s aesthetic.

Founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in the 1980s, the Dolce and Gabbana joint venture was an unforeseen goldmine for the pair. Each were to both become industry icons, and influential fashion designers for many decades on end. Dolce and Gabbana is a two-way venture, with each co-founder of the brand upholding their own intriguing and illuminating history.

Domenico Dolce was born in Sicily in the late 1950’s. His father was a tailor and his mother was a seller of apparel and fabrics, thus he was born into a pre-existing world of fashion. Having studied fashion from a very young age, whilst maintaining a job at his family’s factory making clothes, Domenico would eventually move and work at a design studio in Milan. Remarkably, here he would meet Stefano Gabbana.

Stefano Gabbana was born in Milan but was by no means born with a birthright to fashion. Gabbana instead grew to be organically interested in fashion. Having long been a fan of Fiorucci and its angelic aesthetic, Gabbana, while studying graphic design and aspiring to work in advertising, had changed his career after just one small taste of the path ahead of him. Turning to fashion, Stefano landed an assistant job at an atelier within Milan.

After Dolce and Gabbana met, they realised they possessed a love for fashion and for one another. While they met in 1980, it wasn’t until 1982 that they established their partnership as a design team. 1982 saw the beginning of the two’s partnership and ultimately the building blocks for Dolce and Gabbana. A story of such grand success, however, does have humble beginnings.