This week the fashion world was shocked to learn that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been sentenced to jail. The designers behind the iconic Dolce & Gabbana line received the nearly two-year sentence after being found guilty of tax evasion in Italy.
Although Dolce and Gabbana were cleared on one charge (of having unfaithfully declared their company’s earnings), they were found guilty on the tax evasion charges related to their brand’s 2004 sale of its signature and D&G lines to Gado S.r.l, a Luxembourg-based holding company. Judge Antonella Brambilla deemed this sale of the company a means of evading Italy’s taxes, which are notoriously high.
The designers have maintained their innocence of the charges throughout, and have already stated that they will appeal the verdict. Indeed, in a statement released by Dolce and Gabbana’s lawyer, they maintain that the evasion charges are impossible, as the Italian court is claiming they have not having paid taxes for an amount of money which was double of what they had actually earned.
“Due to the fact that the two designers do not have this kind of money [400 million Euros] – as the judge stated today, that they have never earned it – most probably the Internal Revenue Service will attack their most precious part of their patrimony, which is their shareholding in the Dolce & Gabbana Company,” the statement reads. “We are anxious to even think of what the economic and social repercussion of this act might mean.”