Dolce & Gabbana temporarily close shops in protest against Milan city hall
If you wanted to do a little summer shopping in one of the nine Dolce & Gabbana shops in Milan on Friday, you would have found the stores closed and the windows plastered with signs reading 'closed for indignation.'
The two Italian fashion designersdecided to close their stores for three days in a very public protest against Milan city hall, and specifically against the head of commerce for the city, Franco D'Alfonso.
The signs read, “ Indignant at the way we are treated by the City of Milan, we decided to close the stores in the city for three days from today (Friday)."
"The closing of our shops in Milan is a symbol of our disdain. 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."
“Just considering our stores in Milan, we provide jobs for over 250 people who, in the following days, will be properly remunerated even if our stores will stay closed. Despite our passion and a sense of responsibility which push us to continue working with our usual dedication and drive, we are tired of being subjected to continuous slander and insults, which are detrimental to the serenity of our workplace and distracting us from our work as designers."
“We are very fortunate to work with people who are gifted with rare excellence, both from a technical-professional point of view and from a personal point of view; they believe in us and this situation is taking away their motivation.”
Dolce & Gabbana were sentenced to one year and eight months and ordered to pay a first installment of 500,000 euros for tax evasion on royalties of selling their brand in 2004 to a Luxembourg-based holding company, but they will be appealing.
D&G, are just other famous Italians in the long line of the high profile personalities to get caught out by a desperate Italian government, who is going all out trying to keep under control their Euro debt and current spending, with unemployment in 2013 already reaching an all time high of 12.2% and tax evasion thought to be taking out €120billion a year from the country’s empty coffers.
D’Alonso’s public stand against Dolce and Gabbana was very specific, saying he would no longer be granting public space in the city to the designers, as their tax evasion was bad for the city’s image.
‘Their fashion is seen as excellent the world over, but we do not need tax evaders to promote us,’ said D’Alonso, who later back pedalled on his statement, saying that his phrase was taken out of context and did not reflect the opinion of the city council.
Following this statement, Stefano Gabbana angrily responded via Twitter with “City Hall: You’re disgusting!” and the two now want to return the 'Ambrogino d'Oro' award, that city hall bestowed them in 2009.
The mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, has asked that Dolce and Gabbana to apologize for calling Milan disgusting, which actually they didn't, just city hall.
“Dolce and Gabbana’s reactions were unacceptable and completely out of order. Closing their stores for a unhappy phrase spoken by one of the councilmen, that was immediately clarified? If they were offended they should have taken it out on him. Why is Milan disgusting? There are a lot of things that are disgusting, but I never saw them close their stores for a terrorist attack, wars and other injustices," said Pisapia.
This will no doubt will spark more outrage by the Italian designers, and considering that in the first two months of 2013 almost 10,000 shops in Italy closed due the economic crisis, maybe the parties involved should take it down a notch.