D&G gloves off
Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have hooked up with a boxing team in a first sponsorship deal as they look to pack more punch in the outdoor and lifestyle markets.
The glamourous duo, whose sexy clothes and clean-cut suits are worn by pop icon Madonna and soccer player Lionel Messi, are among several fashion brands trying to lift sales knocked by the financial crisis.
Dolce and Gabbana, who already dress the AC Milan and Chelsea sides as well as Italy's national team, are now sponsoring the Milano Thunder team, including boxers such as Italian Olympic medallist Clemente Russo. The team will debut in the World Series of Boxing, a new international tournament, from November. The two designers also have a sportswear line called Dolce&Gabbana Gym.
"Luxury brands do tie in with sports frequently -- one of the reasons PPR, owners of Gucci Group, bought Puma," said James Lawson, director of international luxury market research specialists, Ledbury Research.
France's PPR is looking to expand in the lifestyle and outdoor sector through a new division.