Milan Fashion Week heated up when Giorgio Armani accused Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of pilfering from his fall 2008 collection. Armani said the designing duo had copied his quilted pants for their own fall ’09 men’s line and even came prepared to a meeting with the press after the Emporio show, when, to further drive the point home, he produced photos of said pants from his runway show a year ago. “For now they copy; later on they will learn,” Armani said.
For fall, Dolce & Gabbana showed sporty quilted satin track pants with a tuxedo stripe, along with dressy jackets and velvet slippers, as part of their Sicily-inspired collection. But the designers didn’t take the swipe from Armani lying down. They maintained that “stylistically speaking, the Armani style is not, and never has been, an inspiration source for us.” Dolce and Gabbana said they built their success on their own style, “which is strongly tied to Sicily and its traditions, as well as to the world of tailoring: a style which is globally recognized.”
The designers said they stopped seeing Armani’s fashion shows years ago and, in their one-two final blow, sniffed, “Surely we still have much to learn, but definitely not from him. As Picasso used to say, copying from others is inevitable, but copying from oneself leads to sterility.” The duel dragged on for a few days in the Italian press. Armani was reported saying he expected a lighter response from Dolce and Gabbana and that all fashion designers—even the maestro himself—take inspiration from one another. Gabbana said he and Dolce “did not take offense, but felt attacked and responded.”