By  on April 10, 2013

MILAN — The hearing Wednesday in the ongoing tax trial of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana offered a glimpse into the past, lifting a veil on dealings unrevealed until now that could have reshaped Italy’s fashion scene at the end of the Nineties and early Aughts.

Taking the stand for the first time and responding to prosecutor Gaetano Ruta, Cristiana Ruella, general director and member of the board of Dolce & Gabbana, explained the reasons behind the designers’ decision to sell the signature and D&G brands they owned to a separate entity, the Luxembourg–based holding company Gado Srl, in 2004. “The fact that the brands were owned by the designers was a serious weakness, an element of risk, and the reasons had been made clearly evident to us by several parties and bankers,” said Ruella, who spoke calmly and unfalteringly throughout her deposition, wearing a white shirt, a black sweater and black pants, with a black-and-white printed foulard.

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