The End of Dolce & Gabbana?

7.26.2013

By Alex Panisch

Tax woes might force the fashion house to close its doors

Will the once mighty Dolce & Gabbana be forced to close up shop?

Forbes reports that the designers are threatening to close their stores because of their recent financial problems (read: getting caught for tax evasion).

For those of you who haven’t followed the saga, the pair was fined 343.3 million euros (nearly US$439.70 million) for undervaluing their company by nearly a billion euros when they sold it to Gado S.r.l., a Luxemburg-based holding company. 

The designers’ response: Bemoaning that they’re being “pilloried” and crucified like thieves.” Woe is them.

These statements came after Milan’s councilor for commerce, Franco D’Alfonso, suggested that the couturiers be banned from using public spaces in Milan to promote their brand. “Their fashion is seen as excellent the world over, but we do not need tax evaders to promote us,” said D’Alfonso.

In response to D’Alfonso’s statements, the pair closed down every single one of their businesses in Milan for three days last week. On the store windows were signs that read “Chiuso Per Indignazione” (“Closed For Indignation"). Stefano Gabbana added to the drama by tweeting “Milan council: You’re disgusting!!!”

The designers still paid their employees during the close, and said in a statement that “the closing of [their] shops in Milan is a symbol of [their] disdain.” If the appeal doesn’t go their way, Dolce and Gabbana threatened to throw in the towel: “We will close," Dolce said. "What do you want us to do? We will close. We will not be able to deal with it. [It’s] Impossible.”

Besides being slapped with a fine so hefty that it wouldn’t be able to fit into any D&G clothes, the duo is facing a suspended sentence of a year and eight months in the clink.

To be continued...

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