Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana announced today that they will most likely have to close the Dolce & Gabbana label if their guilty verdict is not overturned.
The designers were sentenced to prison for one year, eight months for tax evasion (though they most likely won’t serve any jail time), and fined $440 million for the alleged crime last month.
Dolce & Gabbana maintain their innocence, with Gabbana saying the massive fine would force the fashion house to close.
"If we deserved the sentence, there would be nothing to say," Gabbana said on Wednesday. "But we do not deserve it, and so unfortunately we would have to close."
Dolce added that it would be “impossible” for the two to keep the label running after being forced to pay such a huge amount of money.
"We will close. What do you want us to do? We will close. We will not be able to deal with it. (It's) Impossible."
Last week, the designers shuttered all their stores in Milan for three days in protest of the criticism they’ve been receiving since the verdict was handed out.
In particular, Dolce & Gabbana are keen to meet with Milan’s mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, who reportedly slandered them in the press.
"We are good people, we live in Italy, we pay taxes in Italy, we don't pretend to live abroad," Gabbana said.