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Dolce & Gabbana co-founder tells young Sicilians to "go to work"

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Dolce & Gabbana boutique in Hangzhou city Credits: Imaginechina via AFP, Photo: Xiao Xiao

In an outburst not unlike his previous controversial rants, Domenico Dolce, co-founder of Italian luxury house Dolce & Gabbana, on a visit to Sicily, opined its young generations are idle and lazy.

The backdrop for Mr. Dolce's rhetoric was the inauguration of a photographic exposition in Polizzi Generosa, his ancestral hometown, as well as the celebration of his 65th birthday. Mr Dolce criticised local youngsters for failing to volunteer at his cultural foundation and said they should learn crafts like embroidery and bean growing.

In his impassioned diatribe Mr Dolce said: “Our parents got up at 5 in the morning, today the countryside is abandoned”, according to Italy24 News. “We cannot blame the state, the institutions, the mayor: we are the institutions. Today’s generations have no dignity. They tell me I don’t do anything for them, but at the age of 18 I took a cardboard suitcase and went to Milan. Make peanuts, the badda bean, embroider, how can progress be expected if nobody does anything”.

The context of Mr. Dolce's assertions resonates deeply within the broader economic framework of Italy. Italy’s youth unemployment in 2022 was nearly 24 percent but in some regions it soars to nearly 40 percent. The overall number fell from 29.71 percent during the pandemic but with the third highest unemployment rates in Europe, many young Italians emigrate to other countries to seek opportunities. Furthermore, 80 percent of Italy’s small and medium businesses are family owned and managed, making it more difficult for a new generation to gain entry and climb the corporate ladder.

Mr Dolce’s comments may have generalised a generation, however. One local professional highlighted on Facebook the insularity that can accompany observations rendered from the pinnacles of luxury, prominence and opportunity.

Dolce & Gabbana
Domenico Dolce