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the legacy of roberto cavalli

Celebrity Style: Iconic Outfits by Roberto Cavalli

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli, the fashion designer and founder of namesake brand Roberto Cavalli, has died at age 83.

Today Cavalli design house announced his passing via Instagram, along with memorable quotes from Cavalli and heartfelt messages from Creative Director Fausto Puglisi and CEO Sergio Azzolari.

Puglisi said,

 “Dear Roberto, you may not be physically here with us anymore but I know I will feel your spirit with me always. It is the greatest honour of my career to work under your legacy and to create for the brand you founded with such vision and style. 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.”

The Story of Roberto Cavalli

Born in Florence on Nov. 15, 1940, from a family of artists, Cavalli was orphaned of his father at just four years old, as he was killed in a Nazi roundup known as the Cavriglia massacre in 1944.

As a student at the Florence Academy of Art, Cavalli honed his skills, particularly in textile printing—a specialization that would become a cornerstone of his distinctive aesthetic.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli

It's interesting to note that unlike many of his colleagues who spent years directing the work of fashion behemoths (such as Karl Lagerfeld in Chanel), Cavalli managed to develop a distinctive style from the very beginning. It allowed him to establish his own fashion label and changing the women's fashion of the 1970s. After that, Cavalli rapidly achieved iconic status as a brand.

Cavalli became renowned for making impact in the early 1970s for his daring animal prints and an excessive, sexy style that remained his signature style throughout his long career. His early animalistic printed outfits were selected by Rod Stewart and Debbie Harry from Blondie for their signature album covers.


The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Rod Stewart and Debbie Harry from Blondie for their signature album covers
The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Rod Stewart and Debbie Harry from Blondie for their signature album covers

These wild designs have been inspired by animals of Africa, South America, and beyond. In his designs, Cavalli captured the essence of exotic animals, bringing them to life through vibrant prints and intricate details. From the majestic lions of the Serengeti to the colorful macaws of the Amazon rainforest, Cavalli's designs always pay homage to the beauty and diversity of the natural world so that it's impossible to not recognize his style. With each piece, he invites luxury handbag collectors to embrace their wild side and make a bold fashion statement.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Taylor swift

Why Animal Prints?

Roberto Cavalli’s penchant for innovation is profoundly evident in his approach to textiles. He relentlessly sticked to distinctive fabrics, and it was not a coincidence.

In the early 1970s, Cavalli ingeniously revolutionized the printing process by patenting a groundbreaking method that allowed printing on leather. His pioneering technique not only expanded the possibilities within the realm of luxury fashion design but also paved the way for a new genre of designer leather apparel. This innovation was a transcendent moment that reshaped industry standards and set Cavalli apart from his contemporaries. The one-of-a-kind aesthetics fused with unmatched quality, thus seizing the attention of the discerning fashion elite.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Madonna

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Madonna

In 2005 he was tapped to update the Playboy Bunnies' scanty uniform, and even introduced one version in leopard print.

For its first re-design in 25 years, Playboy called on Cavalli to vamp up its famous bunny costumes in June 2005. “(Roberto) too embraces the good life, inspires an aspirational lifestyle for a jet-set crowd and of course celebrates beautiful women,” playboy CEO Christie Hefner enthused.

His recognizable daring aesthetic has become very popular with celebrities who have a similar vibe, such as Madonna and Kim Kardashian.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Madonna

The Cavalli woman ranged from hippie to slick rocker, in diaphanous gowns that caught the air, seductive beaded dresses or sexy skinny suits.

The Legacy of Roberto CavalliWHO DRESSES KYLIE MINOGUE?

As his fashion house recalled on Friday, Cavalli’s explained once his “animalier” inspiration with a popular quote:

“I copy the dress of an animal because I love to copy God. I think God is the most fantastic designer.”

He stepped back from designing about a decade ago, after ceding 90% of the company to the Clessidra private equity group. The company is now controlled by Auriel Investment SA.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Madonna Naomi

In line with Cavalli’s penchant for animal print, the tiger dress Aaliyah wore in 2000 has become an iconic moment in fashion history. Over two decades later, Bretman Rock wore the vintage dress, honoring legacy.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli Aaliyah

Similarly, Cavalli’s impact continues to show in the fashion world with young talent drawing upon his designs and styles.

Maestro collaborate with some of the music industry’s leading female artists. Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez both asked the designer to create costumes for major concerts

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli


while the Spice Girls wore a custom-made Cavalli wardrobe for their global reunion tour.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli spice girls
The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli

As Azzolari said,

“His legacy remains a constant source of inspiration.”

Cavalli is survived by model Sandra Nilsson, who has been his partner since 2014, and six children. He became the father of his sixth child a the age of 82.

The Legacy of Roberto Cavalli family


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