Roberto Cavalli: the flamboyant Italian designer has died aged 83

Roberto Cavalli, the designer and former owner of the eponymous label he founded in the 1970s, died on Friday April 12, aged 83. A master of prints, particularly animal prints, he stepped down as artistic director of his Maison in 2013 for health reasons, before selling his brand two years later to an investment fund.


Roberto Cavalli, the master of Tuscan prints and flamboyant style, is 83. The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the designer had died in his hometown of Florence (central Italy) after a long illness.


Italian media reported that his funeral would be held in Florence on Monday April 15.


Animality in all its splendor


The archetypal Italian Lothario“, named after the womanizer in Nicholas Rowe’s play The Fair Penitent (1703), was how some perceived Roberto Cavalli, who had been married six times.


Roberto Cavalli in the Seventies © Roberto Cavalli


His style, like his lifestyle, was unabashedly anti-conformist. In 2007, he was one of the first designers in the wake of Kark Lagerfeld to propose a capsule collection with fast-fashion giant H&M, just after Madonna.


2006 campaign with top-model Kate Moss © Roberto Cavalli


With his smoked glasses, open-fronted shirts and invariably tanned complexion, he even declared that Michael Kors was largely inspired by his look to create his own character of golden boy made in the USA. A true hedonist, Roberto Cavalli was particularly fond of Ferraris, horses and cigars.


But behind this image of “ultimate vanity”, which he knew how to play, Roberto Cavalli was above all a fashion designer with an assertive style and an unrivalled sense of the spectacular and sexy.


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Featured Photo: © Press

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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