Stefano Gabbana was born on 14 November 1962, in Venice,
Italy. Domencio Dolce was born on 13 September 1958, in a
small village in Sicily. Dolce studied fashion design in
Sicily and gained experience in his parents businesses.
Gabbana, however, studied graphic design and gained some
work experience in fashion, as an assistant in an atelier in
Milan, where the pair first met in 1980.
They presented their first women's collection in 1985 in
Milan, where a year later their store would open its doors.
The design duo labeled their first collection Real Women,
due in part to the use of amateur local women on the
In 1987 the duo launched a separate knitwear line, and in
1989 they started designing a lingerie line and a beachwear
line. Then in 1990 they launched their first men's
collection. That year they also moved the design house
into its first official offices and began to design gowns
and other more expensive pieces in addition to their
By 1991 their men's collection was awarded the Woolmark
Award for the most innovative men's collection of the year.
In terms of their market expansion in the 1990s, in 1989
Dolce & Gabbana signed an agreement with the Kashiyama group
to open their first boutique in Japan. They released their
first fragrance for women in 1992, called "Dolce & Gabbana