Dolce & Gabbana could be forced to shut down.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana may have to put an end to their eponymous label if they are pushed to pay out the hefty €343.3 million (£296.1 million) in fines they have acquired from tax evasion.

Dolce said: ''We will close. What do you want us to do? We will close. We will not be able to deal with it. It's impossible.

Gabbana added: ''If we deserved the sentence, there would be nothing to say. But we do not deserve it, and so unfortunately we would have to close.''

The designer pair - who were sentenced to 20 months imprisonment as well as being slapped with a nasty fine after they were accused of evasions of up to €400 million (£345.2 million) - recently shut down all nine of their Milan stores after the city's mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, banned the duo from Milian's communal spaces due to their alleged crimes.

Gabbana is quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: ''We are not going to give in to being crucified like thieves, because we are not.

''How could we accept being branded tax evaders? We are good people, we live in Italy and we pay taxes in Italy. We don't pretend to live abroad.''