Roberto Cavalli, Founder of Italian Luxury Fashion House, Dead at 83

By Leira Aquino

Apr 12, 2024 09:50 PM EDT

Roberto Cavalli
Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, who founded a luxury fashion company, has died at 83 years old.
(Photo : Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Vogue & The Dubai Mall)

Italian fashion designer and founder of an Italian luxury fashion company, Roberto Cavalli, has passed away at the age of 83.

His death was confirmed by his company, which shared a statement on Instagram celebrating Cavalli's legacy and passion for creativity.

"The Roberto Cavalli company shares condolences with Mr. Cavalli's family loss. His legacy remains a constant source of inspiration, " Sergio Azzolari, CEO at Roberto Cavalli, announced.

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Fashion Industry Mourns Roberto Cavalli

Fausto Puglisi, creative director at Roberto Cavalli, expressed heartfelt sentiments in an Instagram post.

"Dear Roberto, you may not be physically here with us anymore but I know I will feel your spirit with me always," Puglisi wrote.

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Born in Florence in 1940, Cavalli's artistic journey began early, inspired by his grandfather Giuseppe Rossi, a respected painter.

Cavalli's exploration of art led him to enroll at Florence's Academy of Art, where he delved into painting, patchwork, and textiles.

His experimentation eventually led to the development of a groundbreaking leather printing technique, attracting attention and commissions from prestigious brands like Hermès and Pierre Cardin.

Cavalli's impact on the fashion world was profound, characterized by vibrant animal prints and a daring, flamboyant style.

His debut collection in Paris in 1970 marked the beginning of a storied career that saw him become a global fashion icon.

The renowned fashion designer opened his first boutique in Saint-Tropez in 1972, solidifying his brand's reputation for luxury and glamour.

Throughout his career, Cavalli's designs captivated audiences with their boldness and sensuality, appealing to celebrities like Taylor Swift, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Beyoncé.

He revolutionized denim with his sand-blasted technique and introduced new lines like RC Menswear and youth-oriented line Just Cavalli, targeting diverse segments of the fashion market.

His main line is sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.

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Roberto Cavalli's Enduring Legacy

Despite his success, Cavalli's company faced challenges in recent years, including financial struggles and ownership changes. He also stepped back from his role at his label in 2015.

These challenges culminated in bankruptcy in 2019 before being acquired by Dubai-based Vision Investment Co. LLC, according to USA Today.

Cavalli's influence extended beyond fashion, with ventures into hospitality such as the Cavalli Café concept. His legacy will be remembered not just for his exquisite designs but also for his passion for nature and family.

Roberto Cavalli's contributions to the fashion industry will continue to inspire future generations, leaving behind a legacy of creativity and innovation that transcends trends and time.

"Rest in peace, you will be missed and you are loved by so many that your name will continue on, a beacon of inspiration for others, and especially for me," Puglisi wrote.

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