Dolce & Gabbana stays ahead of the game with its latest athletic pursuit
Just weeks before Men's Fashion Week fever hits Europe, one label has found extra cause to celebrate. It seems that Domenico Dolce of the Italian design duo Dolce & Gabbana has turned his hand to professional photography in a book titled Dolce & Gabbana Campioni - featuring Italian soccer stars in the label's autumn-winter 2012/13 collection.
The collaboration with Italy's soccer talent has been an ongoing project for the brand over many years, the difference this time being Dolce's personal photography will be framing the subjects.
Perhaps it was the cameo role in the latest Woody Allen film To Rome with Love that inspired Dolce - the quieter one of the famous design duo - to work behind the camera.
It's no surprise that the subject turns to physically beautiful sportsmen. Those familiar with the label's campaigns, runway shows and books, can attest to the fact that Dolce & Gabbana remains one of the sexiest labels around. For the book, Dolce has managed to capture that enviable combination of masculinity, sexuality and physical grace that, let's admit it, eludes most men.
While most brands might downplay the sensuality in their menswear while amplifying it in womenswear, Dolce & Gabbana shows a little more balance. Its portrayal of the male figure is often just as powerful and sensual - something which Dolce wanted to hammer home in this book.
Soccer players have provided inspiration and collaborations for the designers for years. They have dressed AC Milan since 2004, the Italian national team since 2006, and have forged style partnerships with stars such as Barcelona's Argentinian striker, Lionel Messi.
Some of these athletes have featured in the advertising campaigns. Does anyone remember that D&G's 'Campioni del Mondo' campaign after Italy's 2006 World Cup win? The eye-catching poster, shot by Mariano Vivanco, featured Andrea Pirlo, Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, Fabio Cannavaro and Manuele Blasi, lounging seductively in a locker room.
For those wanting more of the same, this year's Dolce & Gabbana Campioni will not disappoint. The tome will be launched during Men's Fashion Week next month and will be available at the label's flagship stores from July, before hitting bookstores this autumn.