Over Milan fashion week, in addition to putting on two runway shows, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana also opened a new store on the Via della Spiga (Milan's Fifth Ave.) called Spiga2. It's a unique concept store: The designers hand picked from the collections of 25 young designers to feature alongside their own accessories.
Dolce & Gabbana are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. But they remember what it was like to be young and starting out. "We are like well-done chickens," they said, a little lost in translation. And it's time, they decided, to give back to the spring chickens out there.
It's an admirable move, and the young designers they've selected (including some more well known names who show in New York like Yigal Azrouel and Sophie Theallet), are thrilled. "I think it's a great opportunity for newer designers," says Heather Williams, whose Italian-based shoe line is featured in the store. "I've been in business for two years, and the press in Italy has been fantastic, but a lot of times buyers are apprehensive of foreign brands, so it means a lot to have a big brand validate your retail presence."
Even though the store has only been open a few days, the design duo said young designers are already coming by the store with their portfolios, hoping to earn a spot in the next line-up.
"We know what it's like because we started with just two million lire," said Gabbana. "We hope people copy us."