They are accustomed to bathing in the adulation of models and fashion critics as they parade down the catwalks of Milan.
But Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's next public appearance in Italy's fashion capital will take place under rather less glamorous circumstances, as the famed stylists face a trial for alleged tax avoidance on an epic scale.
Monday will see the start of a trial in which they are accused of evading more than €400 million in tax when they sold their D&G and Dolce & Gabbana brands to a holding company, Gado, which they set up in Luxembourg in 2004.
Prosecutors say the complex arrangement enabled the duo, whose friends and clients include Angelia Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Monica Bellucci and Naomi Campbell, to avoid paying higher taxes in Italy and instead pay at a lower rate in Luxembourg.
Investigators say the price at which the companies were sold – €360 million – was about one third of their true market value. » | Nick Squires, Rome | Sunday, December 02, 2012