Italian Fashion Designer, Roberto Cavalli Died at 83

On April 12, Italian designer Roberto Cavalli passed away in his hometown of Florence. He was 83 years old.

The brand announced Cavalli’s passing on its official Instagram page but did not disclose details.

Roberto Cavalli launched his fashion label in 1970 and debuted in the fashion world at 30, showing his first collection at Prêt-à-Porter in Paris. His innovative creations, using a revolutionary printing technique on leather that he developed and patented himself, quickly attracted the attention of fashion luminaries such as Pierre Cardin.

Cavalli’s sexy aesthetic of bold, colorful dresses, extensive use of animal prints, and innovative approach to fabrics have been worn by celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian.

On the other hand, the brand has faced difficult times, with annual sales in the red since around 2014. In 2015, Cavalli sold 90% of its business to private equity firm Clessidra Capital Partners. In 2019, the company decided to close its U.S. stores, leading to the layoff of 93 employees. By March of the same year, the company filed for bankruptcy in Italy. Vision Investment Co. LLC, a Dubai-based real estate development company, then acquired it.

Amidst much mourning from the fashion industry, Giorgio Armani, founder of Armani, expressed his sadness in Cavalli’s honor as “Roberto was a true artist, wild and wonderful in his use of prints, capable of transforming fantasy into seductive clothes.”

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