When you think of the brand name Prada, you immediately think of exquisite style and luxury. The company was founded almost 100 years ago and The House of Prada for many decades has been adored on a worldwide level for its simple and elegant creations.
The Prada label was started by designer Mario Prada in 1913. He designed and sold handbags, shoes, trunks, and suitcases in boutiques in Milan and had a number of customers across Europe and the US who favoured his simple yet luxurious and high quality style. When Mario was becoming too old to run the business, in 1978, Mario’s granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, took over the company and although she had no fashion credentials to her name and lacked formal experience on the industry, her sense and eye for fashion proved all the experience she needed.
The label was still mainly a leather goods manufacturer at that point, and unfortunately wasn’t proving very lucrative in comparison to years ago. Competition had arisen from other luxury fashion houses such as Gucci and therefore Miuccia recognised that the brand needed to create something that little bit more special and directed the Prada brand into the world of haute couture.
The classic Prada handbag launched in 1985 was the first item which really helped to raise the brand’s profile. Made using an incredibly simple design and black nylon, the handbag became an overnight sensation. Of course, when a brand creates a highly sought after ‘it’ product that isn’t affordable to the everyday shopper, it suddenly becomes more in demand and considered to be exclusive and a way of asserting both your style and financial status.
Moving from accessories to clothing, in 1989 Prada showcased on the runway its pret-a-porter collection which featured elegant, simple pieces that perfectly flattered the silhouette and that were made using luxurious fabrics. The collection was a huge hit among the fashion insiders and that is when the brand was really put on the map and became a fashion force to be reckoned with.
Prada today has that incredibly high end, luxurious appeal and most fashion lovers would dream to own something by the brand. It even inspired the name of the novel and hit film which was based on the editor of American Vogue Anna Wintour titled ‘The Devil Wears Prada’.
In the years since Prada’s escalation to fame, the style has definitely evolved but maintains the core simple style combined with the use of high quality cuts, fabrics and materials. The collection of Prada sunglasses are highly reflective of this and whilst designing frames that are on trend, the sunglasses also have that high end luxury appeal with the use of muted colours including browns, deep purple and tortoiseshell to keep the look demure and refined. Feminine and delicate features of some of the styles include wave shaped arms and butterfly shaped frames and the iconic and distinct Prada triangle logo is either positioned boldly on the arm hinge or written subtly on the side of the arms. It is this logo that has become quite the status symbol all over the world.
Prada sunglasses have that dramatic style appeal without looking too exaggerated – the essence is understated but with a confident and glamorous edge. The clean lines and fine attention to detail is evident in each and every pair. With a fabulous collection of oversized, aviator, classic, retro inspired and visor/wraparound Prada styles for men and women (in addition to some unisex styles), in a variety of stunning colours as well as the classic black, there is definitely a pair of Prada shades to compliment your fashion personality.
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When you think of the word sunglasses, Ray-Ban is the brand which probably springs to mind the quickest. Always at the forefront of style and fashion, Ray-Ban sunglasses actually have one of the most valid and interesting histories of all the designer brands. Indeed, their modern and on trend looks may deceive the fact that they have actually being around since 1936 and the first pair to be launched; the Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses are still hot sellers today.
The History-: During the 1940s, Ray-Ban worked closely with the US Air Force to develop the mirror lens which was an anti-glare measure and tested by pilots. Designed for the sole purpose of function, even back then, the sunglasses soon became quite the desired fashion accessory.
In the Movies-: Think back to all the classic films and it is very likely that a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses sneaked their way onto the silver screen. The most prominent film in which Ray-Ban sunglasses were featured is in the Blues Brothers, the actors of which are all pictured in Ray-Bans on posters for the film and in the famous opening sequence. Other films also include Miami Vice, Reservoir Dogs, Men in Black and who can forget Tom Cruise’s character in Top Gun!
On the Celebs-: As Ray-Ban sunglasses are always considered fashionable, a whole host of glamorous and fashion forward celebrities are regularly seen wearing them. These include Brad Pitt, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss, and Cheryl Cole to name only a few who favour their Ray-Bans for that effortlessly thrown together look. The colourful Ray-Ban Wayfarers have been a huge hit in 2009 and have adorned the faces of many a celebrity in the style pages. The bright and bold colours are the perfect way to jazz up any outfit and the shape of the Wayfarer is actually very flattering for most face shapes.
The New Styles-: Ray-Ban is constantly updating and revamping its most iconic styles as well as launching brand new designs. A few to look out for this season include the new unisex RB2027 frames which with their slick wraparound style that is a little smarter than typical wraparounds are definitely set to be a sure favourite in 2010. This style is available in a selection of various colours and the slick Ray-Ban logo is positioned on the arms. The new RB2140 sunglasses are a further update of the Wayfarer and one particular version is incredibly cool and contemporary with a white acetate frame and a pink floral pattern on the interior of the arms. The new Tech RB8031 Ray-Ban’s are a new aviator style made from unique Ray-Ban Tech carbon fibre arms and polarised silver lenses and are a great example of using the most innovative of production techniques and materials to create an incredibly high quality product.
Ray-Ban is one of those brands that has its own distinctive style and the sunglasses remain classic yet keep up with modern trends by injecting contemporary features such as splashes of colour, vibrant patterns and modern technical additions. They really are one of the best brands to invest in if you are looking for great looks and quality and the various styles, because of their simplicity suit many face shapes and fashion preferences. Definitely a winning brand if you are looking to achieve an effortless and thrown together look with a sense of celebrity-like chic!
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Von Zipper was originally founded in 1999 but was bought by sports/fashion label Billabong in 2001 who instantly recognised the brand’s edgy and eclectic style and saw it as an up and coming brand that had great potential. Von Zipper was able to keep its original team of designers and retain its unique image and Billabong escalated it further into the sports/fashion industry and helped to raise its profile.
Von Zipper sunglasses and goggles are incredibly eye catching and have an attitude that represents the ultimate in competitive style and function. The Von Zipper product development and design team are constantly working towards launching new, exciting and innovative styles every year and fans of the brand are always waiting with anticipation to see what products are coming next.
Within the designs which incorporate visually striking patterns that instantly grab your attention, Von Zipper is influenced by individual style, fashion, hip-hop, punk rock and adrenaline and has a fearless attitude attached to the name. Bands including Green Day and Velvet Revolver are fans of the Von Zipper brand and are regularly seen sporting the sunglasses. Von Zipper team riders include 3-time world surf champion Andy Irons as well as fresh talent including skateboarder Karen Jones, snowboarder Nick Visconti and surfer Joel Parkinson.
The brand has also been noted particularly during 2009 as a firm hit with a number of celebrities having been spotted on A Listers including Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton, The Prodigy, Motorhead, The Offspring, Kanye West and Heidi Klum who love the eclectic and unique style that the brand has to offer.
In terms of function, Von Zipper goggles will ensure that you are safe on the slopes and that your eyes and face are fully protected. The brand is notorious for manufacturing its products using only the highest quality materials and most innovative of technologies. With functional features including air circulation between the goggle and the face, forward venting, anti fog lens coating and full 100 percent UV protection, there is an incredibly wide variety of styles and sizes with an array of vibrant colours and patterns. Always at the forefront of technology, there is even a style of Von Zipper goggles – the SkullCandy Replicator which incorporates a removable set of headphones. With a funky black and white web style pattern, these are a fierce looking pair of goggles that will definitely look amazing up on the slopes!
Von Zipper is regarded as an extremely cool and respected brand as aside from its collections, it also sponsors, hosts or makes appearances at cool sporting events such as the recent Eddie Aikau big wave surf contest which took place earlier this month and was also won by Von Zipper supercharger Greg Long. The brand’s products have become renowned in the extreme sports industry and worn by a number of athletes who require the best in order to maximise their performance. In terms of style, Von Zipper has also become prominent in the fashion and celebrity world and is definitely the brand to be wearing in 2010 whether this be on or off the slopes!
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We all know that Chanel is quite possibly one of the most sought after, elite and highly desired designer labels of all time. The various collections which include, clothing, jewellery, make-up, handbags and sunglasses are all stunning in the unique Chanel manner, conveying a sense of exclusivity, elegance and that feeling of owning something incredibly special. The lady behind the name Coco Chanel in addition to being an innovative and talented designer was also an avid business woman and entrepreneur and when Time magazine published its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Chanel was only the person in the fashion industry to be named. Chanel was a renowned workaholic and would never settle for second best in her work. A famous quote by the designer was “When I can no longer create anything, I’ll be done for,” and when she died at the age of 88 this was also the day that she stopped working.
So what separated Chanel from other designers and what made her and her creations special and regarded today as so iconic? Quite possibly the fact that everything about her character and her work was unique and extremely unconventional. Chanel brought a completely new vision of women’s fashion to the industry which saw women’s clothing become more androgynous with tailored and simple structures that were both comfortable, practical yet oozed elegance and style. If it wasn’t for Chanel, the idea of women wearing trousers may have not come about quite so soon.
Chanel was also considered rebellious with her sense of fashion. She designed elegant women’s dresses out of the same material that was used to create men’s underwear which at the time was very much frowned upon! Women would typically have long hair and wear tight corsets whereas Chanel cut her hair short and wore loose yet incredibly stylish clothing. Everything she did was going against the grain of society which was definitely a risk, but she didn’t do it just to make a blasé statement; it was her belief that fashion needed a new path and the idea that every individual male or female, should be entitled to look uniquely stylish and be comfortable.
People who met or worked with Chanel always mention that there was something hypnotic about her and it was her personality, passion and ambition in addition to her talent for design that made her an iconic success. She believed that style and beauty was not just about looking good – it was about presenting yourself well and in a manner that earned you respect from others. Looking good only contributed to this as if you look as though you take care of your appearance, this would also make others believe that you were powerful and successful, even if actually this wasn’t the case. Of course, Chanel did become successful but it was at the grand age of 71 when she reinvented her designs, the Chanel name was completely escalated to the forefront of high end fashion and today, most of us dream of owning a piece from one of her collections. The range of Chanel sunglasses, though on the higher end of the price scale are a fantastic way of adding that exquisite and chic Chanel essence to your look. By refusing to license out the Chanel name, the brand has also achieved strict quality control over its products which has allowed it to remain highly elite in the years since Chanel’s death. Today, Chanel’s elegant and instantly recognisable double ‘C’ logo is synonymous with sophistication, couture and a highly desired and sought after sense of style that leaves us swooning!
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Adidas is a brand that is constantly launching new and exciting collections and maintains its original core values of creating functional products that have the style factor and great value for money. The Adidas watch collection has definitely caused a stir in the watch industry during 2009 with the launch of the colourful Oddity Candy range. However there is now a new Adidas watch on the block to look out for which goes by the name of the Adidas Super Splice, soon to arrive here at Shade Station!
The Adidas Splice watch is a unisex style, which has an extremely funky and contemporary aesthetic with bold and fresh colours. One version for example features an ice blue toned strap and a green and silver digital dial and a further version has a pink strap with a purple and silver digital dial. Colour is a key trend that burst onto the style scene in 2009, particularly in accessories and this is definitely set to continue into 2010 and is the perfect way to jazz up the winter blues!
So, in terms of function, what does the Adidas Super Slice have to offer? Firstly the rubber strap means that the watch is incredibly robust and durable and creates a chunky and youthful look which again is very much on trend. The features include a digital display which presents the time, day and date as well as an alarm setting and a backlight to ensure you can clearly view the time in low or dark lighting. The watch is also water resistant up to 50 metres and uses quartz movement. Adidas is of course, predominantly a sports brand but in recent years it has successfully merged sport and fashion and the Super Splice watch is a great example of an accessory that can be used on the go for sporting activities as well as an accessory that makes you look incredibly fashion forward and stylish. The bold and bright colours will add vibrancy to your look and if you are a girly girl, the pink Super Splice is perfect!
At just under £50, the Adidas Super Splice watch is also budget friendly and you can be assured that you are buying a product of a fantastic quality that can endure physical activity and will last for years to come. Adidas is a trusted brand and having existed for over 60 years, people respect and favour the label for its value of creating superb quality products that offer high function and durability. In recent years, Adidas has also heavily focused on the aesthetic design of its collections which has resulted in the brand now being regarded as incredibly fashion forward and ultra trendy – the new Adidas Super Splice watch is the perfect example of this. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for when we have them in stock!
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It’s common knowledge that Oakley rule the mountains, seas and fresh water when it comes to protective eyewear. With 30 years of sports accessory innovation and design, Oakley are undoubtedly the masters of their game.
With the ski season upon us and the first signs of snowfall in the UK uniting the nation, it’s time to gear up for the big freeze! If you’re planning a ski trip abroad this winter it’s essential that you hit the slopes with the right kit. Boards and ski apparatus can be hired at the resort but it’s important that you pack good quality, practical ski wear and DO NOT forget your eyewear!
Your eyes are very sensitive to bright light and the light is particularly dazzling on the mountains, as it reflects off the snow. Although sunglasses designed for sport do the job admirably, goggles will really give your eyes the protection they need. Oakley googles are designed using 3D Cranial Geometry, ensuring a snug fit, and layered with a triple layer of foam, making for a comfortable ride. With polarised lenses, protecting against glare and reinforced materials to offer protection on impact, Oakley goggles are guaranteed to make you feel safer as you tackle those hairy mountain runs!
It’s not unusual to see the A-list enjoying the mountain air and they all know that protective eyewear shields against the glare of the sun and the prying eyes of the public! Younger Hollywood stars, particularly the likes of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are often seen wearing both snowboard helmets and googles for ultimate winter sports protection. Not only are Oakley googles practical, they also improve your clarity of vision on the slopes and lend you an air of professionalism.
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Giorgio Armani is one of the most iconic and influential designers of our time whose range of clothing and accessories are favoured for their unique and exquisite Italian style. The designer was born in Piacenza, Italy in 1934 and found his way into the fashion industry in the 1960’s. Unlike many designers who have always strived to pursue their passion for fashion from a young age, Armani was a late starter as originally went to study medicine at Milan University before falling into the fashion industry via his first job.
Armani’s first taste of the fashion industry came when he became a window dresser at a large Milanese department store named La Rinascente. Renowned for being a perfectionist, he developed a unique style which was incredibly classic and chic and later following trips to the UK, this was further enhanced. Italy may be largely regarded as the centre of the fashion universe, but whilst in the UK Armani was very much inspired by the shop windows and how the mannequins were styled to perfection with bursts of vibrant colour. Favouring the essence of UK style, Armani decided to bring back some bright yellow cardigans that he had seen in a small boutique and sell them in Il Rinascente. Of course, people thought this was a crazy idea and that the cardigans were far too bold, brash, and elitist for the Italian traditional fashion. However, Armani was adamant that the English style could transcend to Italy and carried on regardless and the cardigans proved very popular. Following a job as a designer for Nino Cerruti’s men’s clothing company, Hitman, Ungaro and Zegna in 1974, Armani decided to go it alone and introduced his own menswear label. His first womenswear collection came only a year later following his success.
The success of Giorgio Armani is due to his ability to create clothing and accessories that people can actually wear. This may sound quite ironic since that is the job of every designer, but where designer fashion is concerned many people feel intimidated by it as feel it is too over the top, unsuitable and unwearable in relation to their lifestyle. Armani bases his design inspirations on everyday and regular people, believing that clothes should be made to be worn not just seen on the catwalks. Armani was responsible for making the feared power suit of the 1980’s a little softer, demure and practical and Armani’s collections are elegant, understated and can be mixed with a variety of other pieces.
The collection of Armani sunglasses are an extension of his range of clothing and portray that same essence of wearability but with an original style that can be sound in the form of bold patterns and colours which injects a funky and high trend edge. Where being bold is concerned, accessories allow you to be a little braver and thus Armani has created a superb range of sunglasses that vary from high trend through to classic and everything in between which ensures you can get just the right balance of Armani style.
Style icons who have appeared in Armani advertising campaigns include both Victoria and David Beckham and singer Beyonce and the number of A List fans of the brand is endless! A legendary designer of our time that allows each and every individual to look and feel stylish, classic and ultra sophisticated!
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Marc Jacobs is one of the most iconic designers of our time and he is renowned for his intrinsic attention to detail, urban styling and impeccable structuring. The new range of Marc Jacobs sunglasses are simply dazzling and combine a fusion of retro styling with contemporary twists that are unique to the Marc Jacobs brand. Marc Jacobs sunglasses are made for men and women as well as a selection of unisex frames and the various styles for this season are definitely something quite special. Celebrity fan of Marc Jacobs sunglasses include Vanessa Hudgens and Audrina Partridge.
The styles of Marc Jacobs sunglasses vary from aviators to oversized and there are even some more sporty styles thrown into the mix which still retain that Marc Jacobs glamour. Here is a rundown of some of the key styles from each style to look out for-:
MMJ127-: These blue Marc Jacobs classic style oversized sunglasses have a distinct retro appeal and the vibrant blue frames and arm socks provide a contemporary twist and a fresh look that is perfect for this season and right on trend. These sunglasses are versatile enough to wear on a day to day basis and convey the essence of high fashion chic with an element of fun. The Marc Jacobs branding across the length of the arm also adds a modern touch.
MMJ126-: A classic pair of oversized sunglasses with super large lenses, these are the type of sunglasses that you can throw on and instantly look glamorous regardless of your outfit. An excellent choice for daytime sophistication and will create a polished look.
MMJ133-: These oversized frames are on the smaller scale of the oversized family and the brown tortoiseshell toned frame and arms definitely injects an element of classic chic.
MMJ132 –: A classic aviator style for men and women, these sunglasses are effortlessly sophisticated and the purple toned frames and ear socks provide a contemporary spark. Aviator sunglasses are one of the most versatile types as tend to suit most face shapes and age ranges. They look timelessly stylish and are a great option of you like to keep your look classic.
MMJ134 -: A classic style which screams fun, these vibrant blue sunglasses have a gorgeous pink fade effect and are right on trend.
MMJ112-: For those who like their sunglasses retro sporty, this style incorporates a striking blue and white colour combination and the flat top frames and large lenses make for an effortlessly chic yet sporty look.
Many of the Marc Jacobs sunglasses mentioned above are also available with various frame and lens colours so make sure you check out the full range.
As a designer, Marc Jacobs like to create his products considering the item’s versatility and value in terms of wear-ability. His collection of sunglasses will work with a wide variety of looks from a casual ensemble such as jeans, trainers and a t-shirt through to a chic sundress or a high fashion polished look. The use of colour means that the sunglasses allow you to jazz up a plain look and they really make a statement about your personal style. Marc Jacobs is one of the most sought after designer labels of our time and owning a pair of these sunglasses truly allows you to incorporate that Marc Jacobs glamour into your look.
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Nothing quite makes a style statement like Ed Hardy! The designer label from the United States was founded in 2004 by French designer Christian Audigier, who previously worked for Von Dutch. Ed Hardy is a huge hit among the folks in LA and is based on the designs of tattoo guru Don Ed Hardy. Audigier managed to obtain the rights to use the designs of Ed Hardy and incorporate them into the products alongside his own unique and creative style. The range which comprises of clothing – mainly t-shirts and accessories including the collection of Ed Hardy watches; combines vintage tattoo art, urban styling and dramatic aesthetics and ultimately the lifestyle brand includes seriously bling and eye-catching pieces.
With the creative eye of Christian Audigier and A-list fans including Madonna, Kanye West, Britney Spears and Heidi Klum, the brand has very quickly taken the world by storm. Earlier this month, the UK was very pleased to celebrate the launch of the very first Ed Hardy store located in the Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush.
Although Ed Hardy is a brand that is most renowned for its collection of t-shirts and tanks, the range of Ed Hardy watches have become an incredibly popular choice of accessory during 2009 and are all sure statement pieces with their incredibly detailed designs, vibrant colours and bling appeal!
The watch collection features designs created specifically for men and women and despite the initial thought of urban appeal and vintage tattoo art perhaps portraying quite a masculine orientated style, the watches for ladies are incredibly feminine with artwork including flowers, butterflies, mystical characters and fairies to name only a few. With beautiful colours such as pink, gold, cream, and white incorporated into many of the watches, these look incredibly striking on the wrist and combine just the right level of femininity with a funky edge to make the watches that little bit different. The ladies watches also tend to use colour and style contrasts such as a feminine designed dial with a chunky grey strap which creates a trendy dynamic. Some of the watches for men and women feature the very much on trend cuff style straps, some with added stud detailing whereas others have simple leather or stainless steel straps. A selection of the straps also incorporate the inclusion of tattoo art in addition to the dial and some also feature the use of diamante stones for that extra hint of bling!
What is amazing about Ed Hardy watches is the fine attention to detail within the artwork. With an incredible use of vibrant colours that are subtly placed together to create an image that is absolutely stunning, you can’t help but be impressed by the fine craftsmanship and the intense level of skill that is invested into the tattoo picture which also include lions, eagles, skulls and leopards.
Ed Hardy is a huge hit in America and is very much a core brand seen out and about in LA. With the opening of the new store in London, in 2010 it definitely looks as though we will be seeing a great deal more of this striking brand on the fashion forward streets of the UK!
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Design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are the creative brains and faces behind the famous luxury brand D&G and it is these two gentlemen who are responsible for making the A List celebs look and feel fabulous and glamorous on the red carpet with looks that we are constantly trying to replicate. Their super sexy styles have been seen on the likes of Naomi Watts, Scarlett Johansson Ashlee Simpson and Nicole Kidman to name only a few.
How the Brand Began-: The D&G brand became established in 1985, when the organisers of the Milano Collezioni invited the two designers to take part in a fashion show which was geared to showcase new design talent. The next year they boldly presented their first independent women’s ready-to-wear show and became an instant hit. Becoming increasingly popular the design duo then expanded their lines to menswear, fragrances and accessories including the iconic D&G watches and D&G sunglasses. What is signature and loved about D&G is the way they entwine their own Mediterranean inspired style with a typically English classic edge.
Inspired by Bohemia-: The design duo first discovered their main inspiration in a thrift shop called Bohemia where they stumbled across an array of animal print garments in bold colours. Loving the fact that this style represented the glitz and glamour of the film industry, the designers wanted to represent the theme of telling a story in their clothes and accessories. Their main priority is always to design pieces to flatter and reflect personality as opposed to merely following trends. They even admitted that they wouldn’t mind if their only valid contribution to fashion was a black bra as long as it was flattering and well made!
Sexy and Classic D&G-: D&G clothing is sophisticated and classic but with a strong hint of sexiness such as the concept of wearing underwear as outerwear including corsets – a garment that D&G is famous for. Pinstripe suits and bold animal prints are also a common D&G favourite, again keeping the look chic but with edgy suggestions. Overall the brand likes to make any female feel that with the use of well designed clothing, they can be as glamorous as they have ever desired. Some of their simple suits or tailored shirts for example are still designed to reveal a hint of sexiness in the specific cut of the garment. Another powerful tool the brand uses is controversial and bold advertising campaigns. The most iconic advertisement was probably featuring the super glamorous model Marpessa in 1987 and most recently the brand has released a rather risqué advertising campaign with the theme ‘Three’s A Crowd’ for D&G Time.
D&G watches and sunglasses-: The range of D&G watches and D&G sunglasses are quite spectacular and are a great way of bringing that unique and daring D&G design to your look with the use of a simple accessory. The retro influence and Bohemia style is also conveyed in many of the designs. There are some beautiful new D&G sunglasses to look out for in an array of styles such as aviators, wraparounds, retro sporty and oversized, all of which inject bold colours, strong designs and are incredibly striking and fashion forward. The range of D&G watches continue the glamorous theme with a whole host of stunning designs ranging from bright and bold to elegant and chic and even eclectic with a strong hint of bling! D&G is a brand whereby you are sure to find something to your taste and the collections allow you to be as over or understated as you wish.
D&G is a must-have for any fashionista and style lover. The brand is perfect as a way of expressing your own unique style with that high end designer look that is instantly recognisable as D&G. The brand is always at the forefront of the fashion industry whether this being with the launch of new collections, at events or via a new advertising campaign that gets everyone talking! D&G has that star quality that separates you from the crowd and will see you through seasons in true style with its timelessly fashionable products.
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