Stefano Gabbana does not want to be called "gay".

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce

The 55-year-old fashion designer - who makes one half of the creative duo Dolce and Gabbana alongside Domenico Dolce - has admitted he dislikes being identified by his "sexual choices".

Speaking to Italy's Corriere della Sera daily, the creative mastermind said: "I don't want to be called gay, because I'm simply a man ... full stop.

"The word 'gay' was invented by those who need to label people, and I don't want to be identified by my sexual choices."

And the mogul thinks associations to homosexuality are meant as a form of "defence", which he dislikes because he doesn't think his personal interests need protecting against.

He added: "They often serve as a defence, but I don't want to be protected by anyone, because I've done nothing wrong".

Gabbana founded the Italian fashion house in 1984 with his former lover Dolce, and though the pair split 20 years later they did not let their break up impact on their career in the fashion business.

And Gabbana revealed he hoped his label would help "spread a new culture".

He explained: "I thought that I could help spread a new culture as a famous person, a culture no longer based on gay rights but on human rights. We are human beings before being gay, heterosexual or bisexual."

Although Gabbana is open about his love interests and sexuality now, it took him a while to have the "courage" to speak out about it when he was younger.

He said: "I had known for a while, but I didn't have the courage to admit it. Only through therapy did I realise that there had been clear signs in my childhood.

"I wanted to play alone ... because I felt different from the other children and I feared that if we were together they would realise. And they would tell my mother."

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