Dolce and Gabbana: From Pugliese Elegance to Canadian Horizons

The creative Italian duo of Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana entered the fashion scene with audacious, extravagant, and sumptuous styles, which swiftly propelled them to the top of the international luxury market.


The high commercial success of the Dolce & Gabbana brand, over its nearly four decades of existence, is a tribute as much to their unique and exquisite hand-crafted designs as to the cinematic presentation of their signature collections in women’s and men’s apparel and jewelry.

In fact, the Dolce & Gabbana fashion shows of 2023 proved extraordinary, suffused with the marvel and romanticism rooted in Italy’s cultural history, scenic beauty, folklore music, and culinary arts. 

The rich agricultural and sun-soaked region of Puglia, located in Southern Italy, provided the setting for showcasing Dolce & Gabbana’s prestigious AltaGioielleriaAltaModa, and AltaSartoria collections of the year. The events, which unfolded over a five-day period, from July 7th to 11th of 2023, highlighted the rich fabrics, superb designs, and intricate craftsmanship of the brand’s FattoAMano creations.

Puglia 2023: Alta Gioielleria, Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria – YouTube  

To inaugurate the tri-partite fashion show, a dazzling party was held at the Mediterranean resort of Borgo Egnazia, in Puglia’s picturesque seaside village of Savelletri. Amid the festive backdrop of a reverberant orchestral ensemble, glistening lights, and exclusive gourmet dining, the event was hosted by the world-class actress Helen Mirren, and featured an exclusive and mesmerizing performance by the iconic super-star, Diana Ross. 

The AltaGioielleria collection was presented on July 8th at Pettolecchia La Forteza, Puglia’s famous and majestic 15th-century fortress by the sea, known for its millenary olive groves and lush green surroundings. Dolce & Gabbana’s collection of meticulously sculpted and shimmering gems is deeply rooted in ancient artisan tradition and inspired by the vibrant hues, shapes, and natural designs embedded in Italy’s idyllic southern landscapes. 

Alta Gioielleria: 8th July 2023, Puglia | Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda | Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda (dolcegabbana.com)

The AltaModa collection was showcased on July 9th, in the Puglian town of Alberobello, declared a world heritage landmark by UNESCO. Renowned for its medieval trulli dwellings, the town’s more than 1500 trulli have been restored to house gift shops, restaurants, and tourist accommodations for its year-round visitors. The cinematic procession of Dolce & Gabbana high-fashion garments along the trulli-lined streets, accompanied by folkloric parades of local musicians and residents, created the perfect synthesis of the art of fashion with the cultural beauty of the brand’s Italian heritage. 

Alta Moda Fashion Show: 9th July 2023, Puglia | Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda | Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda (dolcegabbana.com)

DOLCE & GABBANA Puglia 2023 Alta Moda Live Event – YouTube

On July 10thDolce & Gabbana’s AltaSartoria collection was presented in the medieval town of Ostuni , located near the Adriatic Sea, in the heart of Puglia’s high-quality olive oil and wine production. Known as La Città Bianca for its whitewashed architecture, the town’s other main attractions are its historic palazzi and 15th century Gothic Cathedral which sits atop its highest hill. Ostuni‘s timeless ancient allure, white brilliance, and breathtaking panoramic view proved idyllic for the staging of Dolce & Gabbana’s luxury menswear collection. The harmonious blend of superbly crafted designs with the venue’s rich artistic history has become emblematic of the label’s cinematographic runway performances.

Alta Sartoria Fashion Show: 10th July 2023, Ostuni | Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda | Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda (dolcegabbana.com)

The stunning shows culminated in the closing event which took place on July 11th at yet another of Puglia’s exclusive destinations, the enchanting Masseria San Domenico, in the territory of Savelletri di Fasano. The closing ceremony was spectacular, punctuated by quintessential Italian hospitality. As with preceding events, celebrity guests expressed their affinity with the prestigious brand by appearing in head-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana creations.  

Dolce & Gabbana in Canada

The Italian luxury brand first entered the Canadian retail landscape through shop-in-store boutiques located in the country’s luxury department store chain, Holt Renfrew, notably, in Toronto’s Bloor Street and Yorkdale Mall locations.

In July 2013, Dolce & Gabbana opened its first standalone Canadian flagship in a renovated Victorian house on Bloor Street West, in Toronto’s upscale downtown core. In the summer of 2023, after a decade in operation, the 2-storey, 7,000 square foot store was closed to be replaced by a new flagship in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, the venue where foot traffic and luxury shopping had come to far outpace that of the Bloor-Yorkville area. 

As the third largest shopping mall in Canada with the highest sales per unit area and greatest density of luxury brands, Yorkdale is one of North America’s premier shopping destinations. For many world-class luxury retailers, it is the entry point into the Canadian market, either as a concession boutique or standalone store. The Mall features such brands as Chanel, Versace, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Moncler, Yves Saint Laurent, Rolex, Cartier, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co. and expects the arrival of other equally exclusive brands, over the course of 2024.

The Dolce & Gabbana standalone flagship opened its doors at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre on August 8th, 2023. SAJO was the general contractor entrusted with the 5,000 square foot renovation project spanning over a 24-week period. The new Dolce & Gabbana concept, featuring a black-and-white marble façade, Basaltina stone flooring, book-matched stone wall paneling, and very high polished wood furnishings, exudes the signature exclusivity and luxury lifestyle of the brand. 

Previous SAJO collaborations with Dolce & Gabbana involved the construction of two other brand boutiques, one in the United States at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia and the other in the UK, at the luxury goods and designer shopping centre of Bicester Village.

In all instances, SAJO worked closely with the brand’s design, architectural, and engineering teams, to ensure a collaborative, timely, and high-quality process throughout the phases of the project. The success of the partnership enabled SAJO to meet Dolce & Gabbana’s high standard of excellence associated with the brand’s exclusive architectural design and style. 


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