Stefano Gabbana (born 14 November 1962) is an Italian fashion designer and, along with Domenico Dolce, the co-founder of the Dolce & Gabbana luxury fashion house. He is one of the world’s most influential fashion designers.
Gabbana was born in Milan to a father who worked in a printing factory and a mother who worked for a laundry service. His family is from Veneto: his father was born in Ceggia and his mother in Cessalto. He graduated from the Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche, a design institute in Rome.
Main article: Dolce & Gabbana
In 1980, Gabbana met Sicilian Domenico Dolce through Dolce’s employer, designer Giorgio Correggiari. Correggiari, who died in 2012, was extremely influential on the pair, Gabbana said in 2013: “He was not very famous. But for us he was important. He taught us especially what ‘not’ to do.”
In 1983, Gabbana and Dolce left Correggiari to work on their own; two years later, they launched Dolce & Gabbana S.p.A. (D&G).
In October 1985, the Dolce & Gabbana brand made its fashion show debut at Milano Collezioni’s Nuovi Talenti (New Talents). In March 1986, D&G released its first collection and held its own show, “Real Women.” In 1987, the first D&G store opened in Milan, at 7 Via Santa Cecilia. In 1988, D&G established a partnership with Dolce’s father, Saverio, who owned the manufacturing company Dolce Saverio in Legnano, near Milan.
D&G continued to expand, holding its first fashion shows in Tokyo (April 1989) and New York (April 1990), and releasing new collection lines, including its first lingerie and beachwear line in July 1989, and its first menswear line in January 1990. In November 1990, D&G opened its New York City showroom at 532 Broadway in SoHo, Manhattan. D&G released its first fragrance, Dolce & Gabbana Parfum, in October 1992.
In 1993, the Italian designers received worldwide fame when Madonna chose D&G to design the costumes for her Girlie Show World Tour. They have since gone on to design for Monica Bellucci, Kylie Minogue, Angelina Jolie and Isabella Rossellini.
Later additions to the D&G line included ties, belts, handbags, sunglasses, watches and footwear. By 2003, the company sold more products in Italy than Armani, Gucci, Prada, and Versace. In 2009, nearly 25 years after D&G opened, the company had 113 stores and 21 factory outlets, a staff of 3,500 people and an annual turnover of more than €1 billion.
Gabbana and Dolce were an open couple for many years. Following their success, they lived in a 19th-century villa in Milan, and owned several properties on the French Riviera. They ended their long-time relationship in 2005, but the pair still works together at D&G.
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