There are many brand names that we hear so often they have almost become integrated into our very consciousness, and Italian fashion maestro Roberto Cavalli is most certainly one of them. The brand is known for high-octane glamour and a unique brand of eccentricity that is tasteful rather than tacky. Today, we’re taking a look at all the reasons Mr Roberto Cavalli and his eponymous label are the quintessence of luxury fashion.
He invented his own printing technique
Roberto’s passion for big and bold prints is perhaps best exemplified in his invention of a proprietary printing technique. In his youth, Mr Cavalli spent much of his time travelling to Como, a region in Italy famed for silk making. With a keen eye on the spinning silk looms and an eagerness to emulate the immaculate techniques he’d observed, he soon pioneered an avant-garde silk printing technology that he christened Stampa Cavalli.
This proprietary innovation enabled him to print designs on whole sheets of silk, and the endeavour quickly exploded into a team of sixteen artisans working in tandem with Mr. Cavalli himself to keep up with the demand. After debuting Stampa Cavalli at Salon du Prêt-à-Porter in Paris in February 1970, Roberto Cavalli soon counted Pierre Cardin and Hermès among his clientiele.
He is the king of excess
As proclaimed by the man himself, “excess sometimes is success”. Never one to err on the side of caution, Roberto Cavalli is synonymous with eccentric glamour and his propensity for including an entire safari of animal prints in his collections. His very first collection took the world by storm with the inclusion of larger-than-life styles that were uncommon at the time, such as printed denim jeans, intarsia leathers and brocade.
Whereas the fashion zeitgeist today might be inclined toward a more pared back minimalist aesthetic promulgated by Céline’s Phoebe Philo, Roberto precedes this movement by several decades, trailblazing a unique brand of opulence and extravagance that has prevailed to this day. The popularity of the Roberto Cavalli brand may be a wonder to some, but then again, is it at all surprising? Because it was lifestyle rather than trends that served to be the tent poles of his brand, his design aesthetic proved to be timeless, enduring and immune to the quicksands of changing generations and seasons.
The Cavalli brand has always prided itself on empowering women to embrace their femininity and sexiness – far from being kitschy; Roberto utilizes his designs as vehicles to imbue the fairer sex with the confidence and liberty to elevate themselves. His posse of fans includes some of the biggest household names in the world, like Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss and Jennifer Lopez.
According to him, God is the best designer
Even though his runway masterpieces are rife with animal print, Roberto claims he’s not partial to bestial styles alone. He began designing with Orchids and other flowers as his inspiration, and soon realised that nature was his most beautiful muse. After that, the eccentric Italian designer developed a newfound appreciation for the psychedelic hues on scales of fish and snakes, hides of animals like the tiger, and other miracles of nature.