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Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli dies at 83

Apr 17, 2024 Italy
Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli dies at 83
Roberto Cavalli has died aged 83, his company has announced. One of the biggest names in fashion, the Italian designer was known for his excess, particularly his animal-print designs
“It is with deep regret and great sadness the Roberto Cavalli Maison participates in the passing of its founder Roberto Cavalli. From humble beginnings in Florence, Mr. Cavalli succeeded in becoming a globally recognized name loved and respected by all,” the Cavalli company said. “He was a natural artist and believed that everyone can discover the artist within themselves. Roberto Cavalli’s legacy will live on via his art, his creativity his love of nature, animals and via his family whom he cherished”.

Born in Florence in 1940, Roberto Cavalli came from a family of artists, as his grandfather Giuseppe Rossi was a leading figure in the Macchiaioli movement. He launched his namesake fashion brand in 1970, unveiling his first collection at the Salon du Prêt-à-Porter in Paris. Around that time, he invented and patented an innovative printing process on leather and opened his first small store in Saint-Tropez, where he designed and sold jackets, jeans and minidresses made from patchwork denim to actresses like Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren.

For the next two decades, he remained largely unknown outside Europe. In the 1990s, however, he reinvented luxury denim, first with the sandblasted look and then by adding Lycra to jeans to make them fit tighter and sexier. He went on to become one of the biggest names in fashion, reinventing his clothes for different eras and building a global lifestyle brand in the process. Lenny Kravitz and Cindy Crawford were some of his many admirers.

He stood for an immediately recognizable aesthetic, with “excess is success” being one of his oft-repeated maxims. “Roberto loved excess, but he never lost his point of view,” Nina Garcia, the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, said in an email in 2020. “Even when minimalism was the norm, he believed in maximalism. He dressed us thinking that life — and fashion — should be lived at full speed” (nytimes.com).


Image Credits: larissapress.gr

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