MILAN — A few days ahead of the exhibition of photos taken by Domenico Dolce, WWD caught up with the designer to discuss the genesis of his first book, a 560-page tome titled “Campioni — Fotografie by Domenico Dolce,” which is made up of 67 black-and-white portraits of young soccer players. Some of the images will be on display June 24 during Milan Men’s Fashion Week — an event marked by a party and a live performance at Dolce & Gabbana’s Metropol theater that night.
WWD: How and when did you begin exploring photography?
Domenico Dolce: To answer this question, I must tell you a story. When I was a child, I spent my time fantasizing, creating images within me. I’ve always done it, ever since I was very young: to imagine places and things that I had never seen. That was my way to think of tomorrow, of things that I already sensed: I wanted a different life, which Polizzi Generosa, the town where I was born, could not guarantee. So I stayed there, dreaming of my future. I did it with open eyes, because our eyes are the doors to imagination. Now that I think about it, I have always compared the eyes to the mouth: They must be nurtured. And images are their nourishment. That’s where my passion for photography stems from.
This story first appeared in the June 21, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: You have obviously worked over the years with many important photographers. What kind of photography interests you?
D.D.: I have been lucky to work with great masters, to know them and see how they work. This is my first experience, I am still a debutante who loves photography in all its expressions.
WWD: How did the idea of the book come about? I know you enjoy sports, but could you explain why you chose to photograph sports champions? What do they represent?
D.D.: I’m not a big sportsman, unfortunately.…far from it, because I never have time. But, on the other hand, I am very passionate about sports.…I chose soccer players because I have always considered them today’s icons. In this instance, I wanted to look to the future. I imagined, for every young athlete that I had in front of me, a story, where each was the protagonist. I had kids in front of me aged 15 to 24 — the future of soccer. Extraordinary young men, who let themselves be searched by my gaze and who accepted to play this game of photos.
WWD: Were the shoots all arranged together in a certain period?
D.D.: I worked with a white background. A dry, simple style. The personality of the talent I portrayed needed to emerge. I imagined stories for each one of them, similarly to how Stefano [Gabbana] and I work when we create our collections.
WWD: How did you feel seeing the photos in a book?
D.D.: It was a great emotion, the realization of a dream. This book joined my love for photography with my love for sports.
WWD: Do you think you would like to work on another book?
D.D.: Who knows? For the moment I am focused on the men’s collection that will be presented on Saturday.