'Less but better': Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana on the future of fashion

The Italian design duo discuss challenges, creativity and the repurcussions of Covid-19 on the world of fashion

Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana
Powered by automated translation

As industries around the world are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and focus on "what's next", we ask the men behind one of the recognisable fashion labels in the world what we can expect from the fashion industry.

What lies ahead for Dolce & Gabbana?

Stefano Gabbana: We have always looked to the future with positivity, resourcefulness and a desire to do, invent, create, then undo and put everything back together. And it's not just about style or fashion. It is our life, and our greatest passion. Through our collections, we will never stop telling stories of love, authentic beauty and "made in Italy".

Do you anticipate a greater focus on creativity in the fashion industry?

Domenico Dolce: Enhancing your creative and manual skills is something that brings you back to your nature, to the authenticity of being, something that allows you to rediscover an intimate and perhaps hidden part of yourself, not entirely expressed. For example, I am drawing a lot and preparing several sketches in this period; I feel happy and satisfied when I dedicate myself completely to this activity.

A Dolce & Gabbana moodboard. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana
A Dolce & Gabbana moodboard. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

Is this the end of fashion seasons?

DD: The dream of fashion shows is fundamental for all of us in the field – stylists, buyers, journalists we all need it. The collections will certainly be reduced: less but better. We are in Italy, we have a brand, "made in Italy", which is synonymous throughout the world with quality and beauty, and which does not only mean fashion, but also history, culture, art and more.

People, at this moment, have no great desire to buy and this must be respected

SG: Fashion must reflect reality, and keep up with the desires of people who today, understandably, are even more changeable. It is difficult to make long-term predictions; we will do what we deem most appropriate considering that people, at this moment, have no great desire to buy, and this is something that must be respected.

Will perceptions of luxury change as a result of the current crisis?

DD: We believe that people will seek, even more than before, a beautiful story, a dress, or an accessory that is also a tale – dreams made of wearable fabrics. This is what we have been doing for 36 years now: telling [the tale] of our beautiful country, the Italian spirit, our roots, craftsmanship, which is nothing more than the love of "know-how", and transmitting emotions and a passion for fashion.

Now it's all about making the right choice. In the face of these tragedies of such a vast scale, each action may seem insignificant, but the truth is that even a very small gesture can have enormous significance. This is why we decided to start the donation project, Amore for Scientific Research, with Humanitas University, whose excellence and humanity make it a very special entity.

A look from Dolce & Gabbana's December 2019 Alta Moda collection. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana 
A look from Dolce & Gabbana's December 2019 Alta Moda collection. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana 

How do you make customers feel special online?

DD: Our clients have always been our priority and particularly during this difficult period, we have tried to make them feel our deep closeness: we've kept in touch with all the means at our disposal, most of all through social media.

For example, recently we released a pilot video, which explains to clients our clothes and accessories, simulating a real shopping experience, as it would happen in the boutique.

SG: This will help us to figure out what are going to be the measures in our boutiques after the lockdown, where people will be forced to enter one or two at a time. Human touch will always be key for us, as well as a "one-to-one" shopping experience, which allows people to see our products with their own eyes. We believe this aspect of fashion should not be changed, but we can also explore and take advantage of the wide range of possibilities that online offers.