Update: According to CNN, Dolce & Gabbana fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana lost the appeal to their 18-month suspended prison sentence, in Milan late Wednesday. Attorney Armando Simbari said the case will now be appealed to Italy’s Supreme Court. Last July, the twosome said the prison sentence and fines would cause their namesake labels to shutter.
The original article continues below.
Yesterday, nearly a year after first being sentenced to jail time for tax-evasion, Dolce & Gabbana designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were found guilty once again. Though the new sentence shaved two months off the original jail sentence, from 20 months to 18 months, and was suspended jail time, the designers’ lawyer Massimo Dinoia guaranteed another appeal according to Women’s Wear Daily, “I am speechless and astounded, this sentence is inexplicable. After all, the general prosecutor already realized there was really nothing. We will surely present our appeal to the Corte di Cassazione. This is an unfair verdict and we are sure the Cassazione will reform it.”
The investigation, which was started in 2008, when Guardia di Finanza began investigating the designers after the 2004 sale of the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands to Luxembourg holding company Gado s.r.l., which was seen as an attempt to avoid Italian taxes. After originally being cleared of tax-evasion charges at a 2011 trial, the Corte di Cassazione overturned that decision and another trial began that December and wrapped up, in June 2013. The ruling yesterday was the appeal from the June trial.
Dolce and Gabbana, whose celebrity clients include Penelope Cruz and Madonna, have always maintained their innocence and did not appear in court for the ruling. This isn’t the first time that an Italian luxury company has run into trouble with the government. According to the Guardian, Giorgio Armani paid €270 million in taxes in April, to settle disputes regarding subsidiaries abroad, and Prada Holdings reportedly paid up to €420 million in December.