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Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli Dies at 83

Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli Dies at 83 - Moeva


Roberto Cavalli first made his mark in the fashion world in 1970 with a collection of printed leather dresses. Known for each collection that consistently earned acclaim, Cavalli was a master at elegantly and bohemically handling exotic details.

Roberto Cavalli's CEO, Sergio Azzolari, stated, "The Roberto Cavalli company extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Cavalli's family. His legacy continues to be a source of inspiration."

Born in Florence in 1940, Cavalli's maternal grandfather was a member of the Italian Impressionist group Macchiaioli. His father, known for his anti-fascist views, was thought to be a mining engineer; however, Cavalli was only three years old when his father was shot and killed by Nazi forces. This event had a profound psychological impact on the designer, manifesting physically as a speech impediment (stuttering). In a 2011 interview with Luke Leitch, the designer shared, "Speaking was not easy for me." At the age of 17, Cavalli enrolled at the Academy of Art in Florence, studying art and architecture.

In her book "The Whole Story of Fashion," Marnie Fogg writes about Roberto Cavalli: “Cavalli entered the fashion arena in the early 1970s with a patent he owned for a 'printing on leather' technique, securing orders from the likes of Hermès and Pierre Cardin. He launched highly copied, high-quality, printed, embellished, and patched jeans along with casual leather wear in the 1980s; however, the brand began to be favored by celebrities worldwide in the 1990s when Cavalli shifted towards Baroque and intricate print designs. Unlike Milan-based Versace, Cavalli continued to showcase his seasonal collections in Florence until 1994; this reflected his preference for a more understated allure.”