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MILAN — A few days ahead of the exhibition of photos taken by Domenico Dolce, WWD caught up with the designer to discuss the genesis of his first book, a 560-page tome titled “Campioni — Fotografie by Domenico Dolce,” which is made up of 67 black-and-white portraits of young soccer players. Some of the images will be on display June 24 during Milan Men’s Fashion Week — an event marked by a party and a live performance at Dolce & Gabbana’s Metropol theater that night.
WWD: How and when did you begin exploring photography?
Domenico Dolce: To answer this question, I must tell you a story. When I was a child, I spent my time fantasizing, creating images within me. I’ve always done it, ever since I was very young: to imagine places and things that I had never seen. That was my way to think of tomorrow, of things that I already sensed: I wanted a different life, which Polizzi Generosa, the town where I was born, could not guarantee. So I stayed there, dreaming of my future. I did it with open eyes, because our eyes are the doors to imagination. Now that I think about it, I have always compared the eyes to the mouth: They must be nurtured. And images are their nourishment. That’s where my passion for photography stems from.
WWD: You have obviously worked over the years with many important photographers. What kind of photography interests you?
D.D.: I have been lucky to work with great masters, to know them and see how they work. This is my first experience, I am still a debutante who loves photography in all its expressions.
WWD: How did the idea of the book come about? I know you enjoy sports, but could you explain why you chose to photograph sports champions? What do they represent?
D.D.: I’m not a big sportsman, unfortunately.…far from it, because I never have time. But, on the other hand, I am very passionate about sports.…I chose soccer players because I have always considered them today’s icons. In this instance, I wanted to look to the future. I imagined, for every young athlete that I had in front of me, a story, where each was the protagonist. I had kids in front of me aged 15 to 24 — the future of soccer. Extraordinary young men, who let themselves be searched by my gaze and who accepted to play this game of photos.
WWD: Were the shoots all arranged together in a certain period?
D.D.: I worked with a white background. A dry, simple style. The personality of the talent I portrayed needed to emerge. I imagined stories for each one of them, similarly to how Stefano [Gabbana] and I work when we create our collections.
WWD: How did you feel seeing the photos in a book?
D.D.: It was a great emotion, the realization of a dream. This book joined my love for photography with my love for sports.
WWD: Do you think you would like to work on another book?
D.D.: Who knows? For the moment I am focused on the men’s collection that will be presented on Saturday.