Dolce & Gabbana Sentenced To 18 Months In Jail

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rexusa_1336129nPhoto: Can Nguyen/REX USA.
After years battling Italy's Tax Commission for evading taxes, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana, as well as their accountant, Luciano Patellito, have been found guilty by an Italian appeals court. The three have been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

According to the Wall Street Journal, their lawyer Massimo Dinoia didn't see it coming: "I am speechless. We are all shocked. The judgment is inexplicable and we will appeal." We reported last year that the trio were fighting a lawsuit accusing them of withholding $540 million in taxes after the 2004 sale of Dolce & Gabbana to Luxembourg holding company Gado Srol. At the time, they were facing up to 20 months in jail, not to mention a fine of $454 million plus interest. Despite holding public stunts like closing their Milan stores in protest and appealing to the city's current mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, the defendants were unable to change their favor.

Two months were knocked off the maximum time, but it's still a damning sentence that'll undoubtedly impact the business. However, the duo will most likely not have to serve any time since their sentence is under the two-year benchmark requiring actual jail time be served under Italian law. But, whether they'll work behind bars, under house arrest, or hire an interim designer to take the reins (we'd love to see what Olivier Theyskens could do with the brand), expect to see a swift downgrade in opulence with spring '15. But, hey, if that means a pause on that whole "colonial chic" trend they were on, this all might not be a bad thing. (Wall Street Journal)