20 Jul 2013

Fashion stores closed in protest following tax convictions

6:26 pm on 20 July 2013

Dolce and Gabbana have closed their nine fashion stores in Milan for three days in protest at being "pilloried" over convictions for tax evasion in June, which they say they will appeal against.

Signs bearing the words "Closed for Indignation" were placed in the windows of the shop in an upmarket street in Milan, the city where Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showed their first collection in 1985.

The pair were sentenced in June to 20 months in prison for evading taxes on royalties of about a billion euros ($1.3 billion) by selling their brand to a holding company in Luxembourg in 2004.

Their lawyers say they are confident of overturning the convictions. The pair are unlikely to spend time in prison because of the complexity and length of the appeals process.

"We are no longer willing to suffer undeservedly the accusations of the financial police and the income revenue authority, attacks from public ministers and the media pillory we have already been subjected to for years," they say in a statement.

The pair say they will continue to pay their 250+ employees in Milan during the temporary closure.