Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana founded the Dolce & Gabbana brand in 1985. The same year, they presented their first collection, which was well received by the industry. However, it took a few more seasons before they met commercial success. In 1987, the duo launched a knitwear line, then underwear and swimsuit ranges two years later. From then on, the team kept expanding their empire. Some famous figures contributed to their success, such as Madonna, who wore a Dolce & Gabbana bustier to the New York premier of her documentary, "Truth or dare: in bed with Madonna" in 1991. In 1992, the fashion designers released their first men's ready-to-wear collection and their first fragrance, Dolce & Gabbana. In 1994, they launched D&G, a wilder, more eccentric and slightly cheaper diffusion line. It disappeared within the parent brand in 2012. Between 1992 and 1998, the duo also designed wedding dresses and offered an interior decoration collection from 1994 to 1999. In 2006, the brand launched its first cosmetics range, represented by actress Scarlett Johansson.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s professional destinies and personal lives are linked. Domenico Dolce was born in 1958 near Palermo. His father was a tailor and his mother sold clothes and fabric. Stefano Gabbana was born in 1962 in Milan. His father was a printer and his mother was an ironer. The duo met in a nightclub. At the time, Domenico Dolce had left the Marangoni Institute and worked for designer Giorgio Correggiari. He then helped Stefano Gabbana get a job working with him. In 1983, they started freelancing. When writing the invoices for their design work, they put their names side by side for the first time. The Dolce & Gabbana brand was launched in 1985. The designers lived as a couple for several years before announcing their separation in 2005.