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Dolce & Gabbana founders cleared of tax evasion

Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been cleared of hiding hundreds of millions of euros from Italian tax authorities by the country's top court.

The Italian pair appealed the suspended 18-month jail sentence that had been upheld earlier this year for tax evasion charges.

Italian designers Domenico Dolce, right, and Stefano Gabbana, left, had faced jail for an alleged plan to avoid paying a higher rate of tax. Credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The star designers were accused of using a Luxembourg holding company, Gado, to avoid paying taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros.

Today's verdict, reported by Reuters, overturns the guilty verdict first delivered in 2013 and upheld by an appeals court in Milan in April.

Dolce and Gabbana cool on Victoria Beckham's designs

Dolce, right, with Gabbana, left, and Victoria Beckham in Milan in 2008. Credit: Empics

Italian fashion giants Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have said their "friend" Victoria Beckham may well be a designer but they list her alongside high street names.

When asked in London this evening what they thought of new designers such as former Spice Girl Beckham, Gabbana said: "She's a friend. She make a good job but... for us, she don't make the same way like a fashion designer.

"She become after many, many, many different things. She's a designer but..."

When asked if he admired her designs, he said: "She's a fashion designer but it's another... it's different."

He added: "John Galliano is a designer... Alexander McQueen."

Dolce described them as "professional" designers, adding: "Victoria Beckham, Zara, H&M...there's a lot."