Dolce & Gabbana‘s response to an increasingly complex fashion market is based on a production model where industrial and artisanal realities coexist. The brand founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, which employs 25,000 people between direct and induced employees, knows that it must protect the small artisan businesses it is based on. Meanwhile, turnover is comforting, while the Chinese gaffe, the diplomatic incident that earned D&G the hatred of the public of the Asian country, is now behind them. The two designers talk about it in an interview with L’Economia – a Corriere della Sera supplement.
The production model
“The starting point is a model of craftsmanship and industry, a tradition that combines innovation, digitalisation and technology – explains Domenico Dolce -. We have four production centres in the group, all in Italy, in Legnano – 745 people, in Incisa Val d’Arno – 380, in Lonate Pozzolo – 300 and in Sarmeola di Rubano – 178. It is the heart of our activity, the creative one, both artisanal and human on which we have invested since 1984”. However, the brand needs more protection, not so much from clients, but from the public administration. “We are not asking for help, but for the simplification of work, – continues Gabbana – the excess of bureaucracy. I would like to give support to the artisans who cannot survive. They have to pay so many taxes that sometimes they tell us they can no longer work for us. This means giving up excellence, giving a gift to the countries that copy us and losing our competitive advantage”.
Results of Dolce & Gabbana (1.349 billion) confirm the brand’s stability. Almost a year has passed since the Chinese slide, as we said. What are the equilibria on international markets? “We have been surprised by countries like Brazil and Mexico that are speeding up much more than expected – they say together -. But China, too, is recovering. After mistakes things stop, but then everything starts running again”.
Dolce is 61 years old, Gabbana 57: there is still time for them to retire. The two, however, are beginning to think about what will be of the brand after them. “Our idea is to leave room for others who work with us, employees and family – says Gabbana -. My model is Hermès, where the dynasty came back strong at the helm of the company and did not rely on other designers”. Meaning? “Generations pass and family remains. We will leave a DNA to our work group – he concludes – that is to our internal designers. Then there is family, Domenico’s brothers: Alfonso and his sister Dorotea”.