Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana face prison sentences
World renowned fashion designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, of Dolce&Gabbana, have felt the glare of publicity once again, only this time in a not so fashionable tax evasion trial.
The powerhouse pair are on trial in Milan, which ironically is not only the fashion but additionally the financial capital of their homeland, Italy. Reportedly owing a sum of $1.3 billion in corporate taxes, the designers continue to deny allegations of committing any wrong doing. In response to the court’s command for a trial, Gabbana tweeted: “Everyone knows that we haven’t done anything.”
The investigation into the omitted funds began in 2007 but was cleared some time ago in April 2011. The pardoning has subsequently been overturned and the designers have been put back on trial subject to a ruling that took place on 14th December 2012, where their lawyer requested that the entire trial be annulled and declared void due to so-called “procedural irregularities”.
The appeal was dismissed and if found guilty, an impending six-year prison sentence and heavy fines could be on the cards for two of the world’s most successful fashion designers.
Prosecutor Laura Pedio claims that the twosome sold their labels, Dolce&Gabbana and D&G, to a Luxemburg-based holding company that they themselves set up in 2004 in suspected efforts to avoid paying lofty Italian corporate taxes, which are among some of the highest in the world.
The Italian government supports economist and prime minister of Italy, Mario Monti, in his efforts to tighten up on tax collections with particular awareness on high ranking tax neglecters.
Although the designers have maintained a low profile throughout the mayhem, they did have the following to say:
“The decision is in God’s hands …” Gabbana told Women’s Wear Daily, “our conscience is clear”.
“We never did this for money,” Dolce added.
Unfortunately for the two Italian-born collaborators, the figures add up to a completely different conclusion as their holding company’s 2011 revenue totalled just under $1.5 billion.
As the public patiently anticipates each impressive collection to come down the runway, so too will we wait in apprehension as to the outcome of the trial regarding two of the fashion world’s most loved designers.