MILAN — Milan-based judge Simone Luerti last month ruled there was no foundation for a trial of designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana for alleged tax evasion and dismissed the charges. In a 29-page ruling deposited with the court after 30 days and obtained by WWD, Luerti chastised Italy’s Revenue Office and its interpretation of the law, which he said was made “with a carelessness that was frankly excessive.”
Luerti said the 2004 sale of the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands to the designers’ Luxembourg-based holding company, Gado Srl, “was a real operation, corresponding to legitimate and precisely identified needs.” Italy’s tax authorities had alleged the designers had evaded taxes by transferring ownership of their firms to the holding firm.
Commenting on Luerti’s ruling, the designers’ lawyer, Massimo Dinoia, said this was “a sentence that, simply, can be defined as just.”
The judge said the sale of the brands was “real, effective and not simulated,” since banks preferred for the company’s assets to remain separate from the two designers as they feared potential discord between the two. Also, the decision to set up Dolce & Gabbana Luxembourg Sarl, controlled by the Italian holding firm, which would have bought the brands, “was dictated by two reasons: the first was the will to position the brands on an appetizing financial market, in light of an eventual listing on the stock market; the second reflected the goal to optimize the fiscal positioning,” in connection to the freedom to transfer activities within the European community.
“We had never doubted that the preliminary hearing could end in a different way, and the sentence made this clear,” said Dinoia. “There is nothing and there will never be anything.”
The judge’s decision cleared Dolce, Gabbana, accountant Luciano Patelli and four others involved: Dolce’s brother and board member Alfonso Dolce, managing director and board member Cristiana Ruella, and company managers Giuseppe Minoni and Antoine Noella.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews