The world famous fashion designers, Dolce And Gabbana have been convicted of tax evasion and have both been handed 20-month suspended prison sentences after hiding hundreds of millions of Euros from Italian tax authorities.

The duo - veritable lords of haute couture - were not present at the hearing and a spokesperson for their company declined to comment after a court heard that the designers sold their luxury brand to a holding company, Gado, in Luxembourg in efforts that saved them having to declare tax on 1 billion euros, according to Reuters.

Regarding their knowledge of their company's massive tax evasion, prosecutor Laura Pedio argued that the pair were "well aware that they would reap a tax advantage from this transaction."

D&G have maintained their innocence throughout the case: "Everyone knows that we haven't done anything," tweeted Gabbana in June of last year after the trial was ordered. Immediately after the judge's verdict was announced, a "#freedolceandgabbana" hastag began to trend on Twitter.

After D&G's first collection debuted in 1985, the pair rose to fame with their Sicilian-inspired designs until in 2011 the brand's global revenue reached 1.5 billion euros (1.2 billion pounds) but now together they will have to pay fines of 500,000 euros (£428,051) but could end up being fined up to 10 million euros (£8,500,000).

The pair remain defiant and will appeal their 20 month jail term, despite prosecutors asking for two and a half years.