Stefano Gabbana 
Billionaire Co-Founder of Dolce & Gabbana

By Natalie Jackson on March 28 2014

Stefano Gabbana is a 51 year old Italian and the co-founder of the Dolce & Gabbana fashion house. His net worth is currently $1.8 billion making him the 16th wealthiest individual in Italy.

Gabbana was born in Milan to a father who worked in a printing factory and a laundress mother. He was not trained in fashion design but was instead a graphic designer. Prior to meeting his business partner, Domenico Dolce, Gabbana worked in an advertising firm.

However, after the two met at a Milan night club, Dolce got Gabbana a position at a fashion house belonging to Giorgio Correggiari where Dolce was working and the two began to freelance as designers together. In 1985, the duo founded the Dolce & Gabbana fashion label but their initial days were very trying.

Without enough opportunities to showcase their work the duo made due with whatever chance came their way; staging shows even in fast food restaurants. In addition, they were using their friends as models and even curtains were hard to come by and so they improvised with bed linens.

But ‘the boys’ as they are popularly known finally caught their big break and they now have more than 250 stores in 40 countries selling their high-end clothing, eyewear, leather goods, accessories and footwear.

However, even with their billions it still hasn’t been smooth sailing for Gabbana; he and Dolce have found themselves in a less than pleasant situation with the law after an Italian court found them guilty of tax fraud. They were therefore sentenced to one year and eight months in jail and a fine of €500,000 though the sentence was suspended. The duo has however maintained their innocence and closed their Milan stores for three days in protest and informed their customer through posters that they were “Closed Out Of Indignation”.

Aside from their problems with the law, Gabbana and Dolce have been lending a hand to the less privileged. Consequently, they launched a promotion through their ‘the one gentleman’ fragrance that was geared at raising money for the Matthew McConaughey's Foundation.

This is an organization that helps teenagers to live healthy active lives that will enable them to become exemplary adults. In addition, they teamed up with big-screen director Steven Spielberg to sponsor a charity in support of Children’s Action Network an organization that uses the entertainment industry to highlight the plight of children. 

Gabbana is single and lives in Milan, Italy.

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