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.
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
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To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye