The grandson of an acclaimed painter of the Macchiaioli group, Roberto Cavalli studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence where he specialized in textile application. Few knew he would one day be a legend in the business of Fashion.
Roberto Cavalli began his career in Fashion during the Sixties, working in his own silk printing shop where he applied a new painterly technique to garments, which consequently led to garment dyeing techniques. His interest in adding colours to silk and wool has its roots in Tuscan artisan traditions. Few know that his grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Macchiaioli group and Cavalli himself studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence where he specialized in textile application.
Roberto Cavalli made cutting-edge developments in textile technology. In 1970 he debuted at the Salon for Pret-a-Porter in Paris with leather patchwork in alliance with Mario Valentino. The evening gowns in printed leather took Fashion by storm and having patented his leather printing technique, Cavalli earned commissions from design houses including Hermès and Pierre Cardin. In 1972 he showcased patchwork jeans at Palazzo Pitti, Florence.
That year he also opened his first boutique in Saint Tropez, foreseeing the potential of the fishing village as a destination for the elite and attracted the A-list set including Brigitte Bardot. In the late Seventies most Italian fashion houses moved to Milan. Cavalli stayed on in Florence. Per Vogue: "Exotic elegance, wild prints and bohemian glamour are inherent in every collection and his seductive cuts have provided everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Victoria Beckham with red-carpet drama."
Cavalli's career entered an exciting phase in the Nineties. His showcase at Milan Fashion Week in 1994 made the luxury fashion brand a worldwide success. One of the most glamorous to date, the collection had wildlife motifs on denim, printed apparel, embroidered fur and sculpted gowns. Applying artistic techniques to denim he presented printed jeans in 1988, sand-blasted jeans in autumn- winter 1994 and Lycra stretch jeans the following year. These innovations in textile technology was an unbridled hit and Roberto Cavalli launched Cavalli Jeans — later renamed Just Cavalli — in 2000. This was followed by new clothing lines: Roberto Cavalli Junior and Class Cavalli.
The same year he opened boutiques in Saint Barth and the French Caribbean.. the first mono-brand boutique in Venice in 1996 and shortly the brand was distributed in over thirty countries. So is it a wonder it was loved and worn by Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham and Gisele Bundchen?
At the turn of the century the Italian fashion group diversified its portfolio by inking collaborations and licensing agreements for the production and distribution of new accessories lines. The Marcolin Group started developing and distributing Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli sunglasses and optical frames.
In 2002 Cavalli collaborated with Sector to design watches which grossed reported €3.9 million. That year he opened a café store in Florence with the interiors done up in his animal prints. This was followed by the Just Cavalli Club in Milan.. and along with another club in Dubai, it became representative of the brand’s lifestyle experience. Set in a snakeskin-encased bottle, Roberto Cavalli Vodka was launched in September 2005. Followed by wines, restaurants and members’ clubs.
Cavalli celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2010. The company was named the number one women's fashion label on Luxury Brand Status Index- released a coffee-table book- and held an extravagant party in Paris attended by Heidi Klum, Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell and Taylor Swift. Roberto Cavalli Home debuted at Salone del Mobile in 2012 and new licensing agreements were inked with Renzo Rosso’s OTB Group for Just Cavalli, Coty Inc. for Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli fragrance. The same year Cavalli's second limited edition high-street line was launched for Australian Target. Georgia May Jagger was signed as the face of Just Cavalli perfumes in March 2013. The following year, the brand reported €210 million revenue and €12 million loss. Sadly, the search for buyers had begun.
In 2015 Italian private equity fund Clessidra SGR had ninety per cent stake in Roberto Cavalli with minor partners such as L-GAM and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. Former Versace head Gian Giacomo Ferraris was appointed CEO in July 2016 and began a re-organization and return to the brand’s Tuscan origins: the Milan headquarter closed and relocated to Osmannoro.
‘The profound knowledge of the sector and the important professional experiences of Gian Giacomo Ferraris will allow Roberto Cavalli to consolidate the path of relaunch that is at the base of the company’s development plans’ Cavalli said in a statement. The following year he appointed Paul Surridge as Creative Director of the maison.
To revamp its lines the Italian group focused on accessories, womenswear and menswear. A collaboration with DAMAC real estate developer to build Cavalli Villas in the Middle East stimulated growth of the Home division. In March 2019 Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli closed its US stores and prepared to liquidate its North American operations. In November, Hussain Sajwani, President of Dubai-based DAMAC Properties, purchased the fashion brand through private investment company Vision Investments.
In a more recent development Roberto Cavalli S.p.A appointed Fausto Puglisi as its creative consultant. ‘I am honoured and proud to carry on the legacy of this extraordinary brand and, above all, to continue to support Roberto Cavalli’s image of glamour and refinement' he said in a release. ‘This is a unique opportunity to write a new chapter in Cavalli’s history, continuing to celebrate the legacy of Italian craftsmanship and excellence.' Since, the luxury fashion brand has enhanced its e-commerce primarily as a result of the global pandemic while maintaining its stores in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
‘At 71 years old the designer is reluctant to retire, despite all that he has achieved. "Well sometimes I say when I’m completely tired… but I feel a lot of responsibility to my fans: what they expect from me" he told us in 2011. "They expect a lot, but at the same time fashion is a part of my DNA. I could never live without it."' per Vogue. In recent developments Roberto Cavalli hired a new CEO, Sergio Azzolari.
To focus on the client’s desires and needs while keeping constantly high professional standards.
Roberto Cavalli envisioned creating wild, fabulous products of the highest quality that would always be a statement piece… be it fashion or interiors.
Roberto Cavalli (Founder)
Sergio AzzolarI (CEO)
Products and Services
Apparel and accessories.. fragrance and eyewear.. home and interiors.. Vodka
- Official website Roberto Cavalli
- Roberto Cavalli Names Sergio Azzolari New CEO WWD
- Roberto Cavalli British Vogue
- Roberto Cavalli's SS23 Wild Leda Collection British Vogue
- Fausto Puglisi Joins Roberto Cavalli BoF
- Paul Surridge is the new Creative Director at Roberto Cavalli Vogue
- Facebook page of Roberto Cavalli Facebook
- Roberto Cavalli for H&M: Rock-star pandemonium BoF
- LinkedIn page of Roberto Cavalli LinkedIn
- Roberto Cavalli's Youngest Son Talks Menswear Forbes
- Instagram page of Roberto Cavalli Instagram
- Embrace Maximalism With The Queen Of Cavalli Chair British Vogue
- Twitter page of Roberto Cavalli Twitter
- Designer Philipp Plein Rumored To Acquire Roberto Cavalli Brand Forbes
- Youtube channel of Roberto Cavalli Youtube
- Paul Surridge comes on board as Creative Director NY Times
- Wiki page of Roberto Cavalli Wikipedia
- Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors at Salone del Mobile Reuters
Roberto Cavalli (Founder)
Sergio Azzolari (CEO)
Fashion and Textiles
Retail and Consumer Goods