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Dolce & Gabbana

Holdfast

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So, I was browsing in Dolce & Gabbana today.

Who is their market? I was really struggling to figure it out.

On one hand, they had some pretty cool (if overly expensive for what they are) fairly classic tweed overcoats and cashmere blazers. On the other, they had some truly bizarrely coloured puffy jackets, other unusual outerwear and garish leopardskin pattern shirts. And in between some techno fabric sweaters (which I thought were very clever to be honest) and other wacky stuff.

I can see how each segment appeals to certain niches, but as an overall brand, it's very eclectic. No wonder they need so much advertising to keep the brand image straight. So who are they targetting with such a broad range of items? It seems very disjointed...
 

suited

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Puffy, Are you saying that this thing isn't an absolute steal at $1,900?
 

Christofuh

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Their models are really into nose candy.
Add to that a crazy ad budget, and you'll end up with $7100 bomber shearlings.
 

rach2jlc

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They initially started off rather classy, though a little edgy/sexy and with subtle military details, but stuck fairly close to nice standards. Nicely tailored jackets/suits, excellent leather goods (made by Ruffo, IIRC), always a really great fitted, slightly shorter peacoat, etc.

Then, they began to make a name for themselves with more relaxed, "sexy" wear like LOW waist jeans, tees, etc. They kept selling lots of these and so this became their target via advertising, both in Europe but especially in Japan... where they do a large % of their sales. Each season, it seems like they've taken it one step further and so now they are garish, tacky, and almost trashy.

So, the schizophrenia is market-driven, though at base Dolce&Gabbana still know how to do some fun, sexy, but still relatively classic italian styling if you can wade through the "surface" novelty.
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by Zenny
Douchebags.

Eh, that's a little narrow. If you take into consideration the entire Dolce&Gabbana umbrella, including D&G, there's a lot of crap. BUT, they still put out some beautiful items on the runway collections and in the showrooms.

It's just that those don't make for "shock value" advertising... seeing a man with no shirt and a pair of jeans with a 3" rise makes more IMPACT (for better or worse) than a guy wearing a nicely tailored blazer and wool pants.
 

RedScarf7

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I own a nice Dolce and Gabbana suit though I certainly wouldn't wear a lot of what they make. I am beginning to see a lot of D&G more and more like Ed Hardy...just very classless in many cases.
 

Holdfast

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The items I was looking at today were all main line items.

I expect random trashiness from D&G, Dsquared or whatever. But for the mainline to be so... random, surprised me. I don't usually browse Dolce & Gabbana, but had some time to kill and I'm glad I looked.

Originally Posted by rach2jlc
They initially started off rather classy, though a little edgy/sexy and with subtle military details, but stuck fairly close to nice standards. Nicely tailored jackets/suits, excellent leather goods (made by Ruffo, IIRC), always a really great fitted, slightly shorter peacoat, etc.

Then, they began to make a name for themselves with more relaxed, "sexy" wear like LOW waist jeans, tees, etc. They kept selling lots of these and so this became their target via advertising, both in Europe but especially in Japan... where they do a large % of their sales. Each season, it seems like they've taken it one step further and so now they are garish, tacky, and almost trashy.

So, the schizophrenia is market-driven, though at base Dolce&Gabbana still know how to do some fun, sexy, but still relatively classic italian styling if you can wade through the "surface" novelty.


This makes sense. You know, it was the sheer culture clash between some of the items that surprised me. I found a nicely cut, slim camel-coloured, soft cashmere blazer that fit nicely... stuck between a metallic parka and a digusting-looking (and feeling) "distressed" jacket made from some plasticky synthetic. It was just a bizarre contrast. It was like they were trying to sell to three different people at the same time.
 

Parker

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A few years ago, they were making suits and jackets with a really nice silhouette. Sort of narrow and trim like RL Black Label. I don't know if the construction was that good, but the cut was cool. I would certainly wear these. But as rach said, these more classically tailored items are only about 5-10% of their line. All the other stuff (jeans, casual shirts, tees, distressed items, etc) is just over the top for me.
 

dkzzzz

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Originally Posted by Holdfast
No wonder they need so much advertising to keep the brand image straight.

Really? Straight? Have you seen their print adds?
 

johnnyblazini

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Well, I don't imagine they make any money with the menswear... Assuming they are breaking even, which isn't a given..
 

johnnyblazini

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So, to answer the original question; who knows? Overall a good example of poor brand management...
 

Zenny

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Do they actually make D&G emblazoned tshirts for real??
 

robasaurus

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My store carries a fair bit of Dolce & Gabbana mainline product. I think rach2jlc pretty much nailed why the brand is the way it is, but Zenny is right too. I can recall very few customers that I have seen purchase Dolce & Gabbana who were not douchebags.

For transparency's sake, I should admit that I own a pair of Dolce & Gabbana loafers. I hope I'm not a douchebag...
 

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