• Fri, Jul 19 - 5:15 pm ET

Dolce & Gabbana Indignantly Closes Stores In Protest

Dolce & Gabbana store

Designers Dolce & Gabbana have opted to shut the doors to their Milan stores for the next three days. The surprising move was made in protest of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana‘s tax evasion charges, for which they were convicted of keeping over one billion Euros from the government by selling their brand to a holding company in Luxembourg back in 2004.

In a statement, the designer pair told the public this:

“We are no longer willing to suffer undeservedly the accusations of the financial police and the income revenue authority, attacks from public ministers and the media pillory we have already been subjected to for years.”

Though the pair received 20-month jail terms for their convictions, their lawyers say they will be easy to overturn, and it is unlikely that either designer will spend time in prison. For now, though, their stores’ windows have ”Closed for Indignation” posted.

Tax evasion is a huge deal, especially in a country like Italy that has been plagued with so many financial issues. I was already not exactly a big fan of Dolce & Gabbana’s business practices, but managing to skip out on paying over a billion Euros? That’s incredible.

Photo: jmettraux / Flickr

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  • CatoGato

    I’m not familiar with Italy’s laws concerning international mergers and acquisitions of Italian companies, but something like this would not be considered illegal tax evasion in the US. By selling their ‘ownership’ stake of the brand (even if they retained creative and directive control) to the Luxembourgian holding company, Dolce & Gabbana is effectually a Luxembourgian company, obligated to pay whatever taxes Luxembourg levies on such companies. They are no longer (financially) an Italian company, so Italy has no claim on their earnings. I’m not saying it’s ethical, but it is basically LEGAL tax evasion. Bigwigs on Wall Street do this all the time, except their holding companies are in the Cayman Islands. Luxembourg is like the Cayman Islands of Europe because they keep their corporate tax rates so low (precisely so they can lure in profitable companies looking to reduce their tax bills). This is how very small countries with little population, industry, or resources try to fill the public coffers.

  • ShonnaDeem
  • Eileen

    Meh. If it were me, I’d move to Luxembourg with the company. I can’t imagine anyone who would want to own an Italian business subject to Italian taxes and Italian laws, just because the Italian government is so unstable that who knows what’s next.

  • Bryan

    Don’t try and cheat on taxes. Dang

  • Chris

    So a known rich person’s store, who’s owners are up on charges for tax evasion…is closing it’s doors to protest? Yeah I’m sure that will work….

  • Arminius

    Three DAYS?
    My, what a principled, selfless sacrifice by D&G.
    Close all your stores in Italy for good in protest, and turn them into homeless shelters for drug addicts, and THEN crow about your principled defiance.
    …but then, that would be costly, yes? And principles are so…well, pricey.

    D&G were probably targeted unfairly for what amounts to clever tax management. But let’s not applaud this preening, faux-protest. It’s marketing. Which, clearly, they’ve become good at doing.

  • Jeremy Wyatt

    maybe that’s how we are going to fix all the tax evaders here in America. after they ruin the economy then they will have to pay to fix it out of pocket.