Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are not letting their brand out of their hands anytime soon. The Italian designers, who launched their privately-owned label in Legnano, Italy in 1985, said in an interview with Italian daily publication Corriere della Sera on Thursday that they have “rejected all acquisition offers” that they have received for their Milan-based brand over the years. Instead, the two founders have established a trust to house Dolce & Gabbana’s valuable intellectual property and other assets once they are no longer around to tend their creation.
When asked who will be tasked with pioneering the brand – which is said to have brought it 1.3 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in revenue in 2017 – when its founders step down or are deceased, Mr. Gabbana said, “Once we will be dead, we will be dead." Shooting down any chance of an acquisition, he further stated, "I don’t want a Japanese designer to design for Dolce & Gabbana."
As is the budding trend in fashion, conglomerates and investors from the Far East have taken to buying up some of fashion's most esteemed houses, including Lanvin (which was acquired recently by Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun International Ltd.), Fiorucci (which was bought out by Japanese denim brand, Edwin Co. Ltd. in 1990), Bally (Chinese textile giant Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co. snapped up a controlling stake early this year), and Cerrito, which as of 2010 has been owned by Chinese menswear retail unit Trinity, among others.
As noted by Reuters, the creation of the Dolce & Gabbana trust “is intended to safeguard one of the two in case something happens to the other partner, but the designers" – who are both approaching their 60s – "did not reveal any further details.”