Dolce & Gabbana diversifies into restaurants and hospitality

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto16 mai 2023

Dolce & Gabbana is broadening its empire by purchasing the Excelsior in Portofino and opening a resort in the Maldives, expanding its restaurant and hotel portfolio. These projects are part of the company's diversification strategy, which has seen an increase in revenues despite past financial challenges.

Portofino embodies the picturesque charm of Italy, where history and beauty meet by the waterfront (Shutterstock)

An agreement has been reached: as of May 26, Dolce & Gabbana will officially become the owner of the Excelsior in Portofino. The iconic and picturesque location has been a favorite destination for the international jet set for decades. Opened in 1924 on the famous Piazzetta, the historic establishment will be transformed into a themed restaurant dedicated to the aesthetic universe of Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

This project marks the designers' second foray into the restaurant business following the 2003 opening of DG Martini in Milan. Located in Corso Venezia, in the halls of Palazzo Labus, it was renovated last year by architect Eric Carlson. The opening of this new address is part of Dolce & Gabbana's strategy to diversify its investments in real estate, hotels, and gastronomy.

Alongside the acquisition of Excelsior in Portofino, the company announced the opening of its first hotel in its name, an exclusive resort in the Maldives. This project is backed by Dar Global, a Saudi real estate developer listed on the London Stock Exchange, which also invests in several fashion brands, including Missoni and Elie Saab.

The Italian company is also considering developing two residential projects in Miami, USA, and Marbella, southern Spain. These projects will be carried out in collaboration with JDS, a New York-based real estate development group founded by millionaire Michael Stern, and Sierra Blanca Estates, a leading real estate developer on the Costa Del Sol.

Despite a period of crisis in 2018, when Beijing banned the group from the Chinese market following an advertising campaign deemed offensive, and a drop in overall sales during the 2020 health crisis (in 2020, the company posted sales of 1 billion and 155 million euros compared to 1 billion and 349 million in 2019), Dolce & Gabbana is now posting prosperous sales, exceeding 1.5 billion euros.

In 2018, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created a trust, rejecting all takeover offers. In this regard, Domenico Dolce explained in an interview published in Corriere della Sera, "We rejected all the purchase offers; you can have a lot of money, but what good would it be if you are not free?"

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