King of leopard print, Italy’s Roberto Cavalli dies at 83

Cavalli began by painting on T-shirts to earn money while still at art school (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)

Cavalli started by portray on T-shirts to earn cash whereas nonetheless at artwork college (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)

Italian clothier Roberto Cavalli, whose penchant for python and flamboyant animal prints made him the darling of the worldwide jet set for many years, died Friday at 83, the luxurious firm stated.

“It’s with deep remorse and an ideal unhappiness the Roberto Cavalli Maison participates within the passing of its founder Roberto Cavalli,” wrote the corporate in a press release despatched to AFP.

“From humble beginnings in Florence Mr. Cavalli succeeded in turning into a globally recognised title liked and revered by all,” stated the corporate.

First seen within the Nineteen Seventies on stars resembling Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, Cavalli’s skin-baring, eye-popping kinds had been nonetheless favoured years on by later generations of celebrities, from Kim Kardashian to Jennifer Lopez.

With a style for Ferraris, thoroughbred horses, fats cigars and tailor-made shirts unbuttoned to show his tanned chest, the designer’s personal life additionally appeared the stuff of fantasy.

He married a Miss Universe runner-up, owned a purple helicopter and a Tuscan winery, and was on a first-name foundation with A-listers like Sharon Stone and Cindy Crawford.

However the designer additionally weathered challenges, together with a dry spell within the Eighties when minimalism took maintain on runways and his form-fitting, feathered creations appeared out of step.

A years-long trial in Italy on tax evasion fees finally led to Cavalli’s acquittal, however after his eponymous vogue home started posting losses, a majority stake was offered to non-public fairness in 2015.

Finest recognized for his use of printed leather-based and stretchy, sand-blasted denims, Cavalli at all times embraced the wow think about his designs, by no means encountering an animal print he didn’t like.

The designer was tapped in 2005 to replace the Playboy Bunnies’ scanty uniform — true to type, he launched one model in leopard print.

– Social gathering crasher –

Born on November 15, 1940 in Florence, Italy’s premier leatherworking centre, Cavalli started portray on T-shirts to earn cash whereas at artwork college.

He recalled in his weblog in 2012 how he gate-crashed a celebration in 1970, and, searching for to avoid wasting face when he met the host, who was a designer, instructed him that he printed on leather-based.

When the designer requested to see a few of his work the subsequent day, Cavalli hurried to seek out samples of skinny, supple leather-based onto which he printed a flower design.

The designer was impressed, and Cavalli was hooked.

Taking his inspiration from glove design, Cavalli started working with calfskin, patenting a brand new solution to print leather-based with patterns that quickly caught the attention of French luxurious items maker Hermes and the late designer Pierre Cardin.

Within the Nineteen Seventies, he opened a store in Saint Tropez, playground of the world’s glitterati, and debuted his assortment in Paris.

He went on to current for the primary time in Italy at Florence’s opulent Palazzo Pitti, grabbing consideration together with his boho-chic patchwork designs on denim that married the unpretentious cloth with professional tailoring.

– ‘I am copying God’ –

Of his ubiquitous use of prints, the animal lover — whose menagerie as soon as included a monkey — instructed Vogue in 2011: “I like all the pieces that’s of nature.”

“I began to understand that even fish have a implausible colored ‘costume’, so does the snake, and the tiger. I begin(ed) to grasp that God is basically one of the best designer, so I began to repeat God,” he instructed the journal.

Within the Eighties Cavalli’s immediately recognisable, unique designs had been out of sync with the minimalist look that was all the fad, however the designer got here again with a bang a decade later with distressed trying denims that proved successful.

His vogue empire expanded to residence furnishings, wine, sneakers, jewelry and even a line of vodka, its bottle sheathed in snakeskin.

Taking his model to the excessive avenue, he designed a fast-fashion line for Swedish retail big H&M and tour outfits for Beyonce, amongst others.

However the label started to undergo monetary difficulties amid elevated competitors from well-funded manufacturers owned by vogue conglomerates LVMH and Kering, and Cavalli stepped down as inventive director in 2013.

Two years later, Milan-based personal fairness group Clessidra purchased a 90-percent stake within the firm, however a restructuring did not reverse losses.

After submitting for administration and shutting its US shops, the style group was purchased in November 2019 by Imaginative and prescient Investments, the personal funding firm of Dubai real-estate billionaire Hussain Sajwani.


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