Well, if Martha Stewart did it, perhaps Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana will survive a stint in prison. In the midst of preparing to debut their Spring 2013 Men's Collection in three days, the Italian design duo known as Dolce & Gabbana were found guilty of tax evasion in Italian court yesterday and sentenced to one year and 8 months of prison time. The case alleges that the 2004 sale of the designers' brands to a Luxembourg based holding company allowed the designers to avoid taxes, and, naturally, the designers are expected to appeal.
So what will happen to the pair who have surely grown accustomed to enjoying the palatial rewards of their great success? It's hard to imagine the pair pictured at right pacing around jail cells for 20 months. Do they have the kind of "executive" prisons for white collar crime in Italy that we have in the U.S.? Will they design collections remotely from their cells? Will we see a runway show inspired by orange jumpsuits? Do they wear those in Italy? It's worth nothing that they are in good company by having problems with Italy's tax police. Lots of Italian designers have been targeted. In fact it's something of a confirmation of Dolce & Gabbana's status that they share with Valentino, Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli among others who have all tangled with the tax police with varying degrees of success, but have gotten out of serving jail time either through exoneration or heavy fines.
Of course, how this will all turn out is anyone's guess. Italian courts are notoriously slow and function in whimsical ways that defy the kind of logic that American's are accustomed to in our own justice system. Just ask Amanda Knox.