"My devotion to my job started from a personal defeat: my first girlfriend's parents rejected be because I wasn't rich."
As the grandson of Impressionist painter Giuseppe Rossi and the son of a tailor, fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has always stayed true to himself. While attending the Academy of Art in Florence, Italian born Cavalli realized his gift for painting and began experimenting with art on fabrics. Soon enough Cavalli had invented and patented the process now used for printing on lightweight leather. Consistently ahead of his time with lavish designs and choice of textiles, in 1972 he unveiled his revolutionary collection of patchwork clothes in denim and leather. Even though his collection was unique Cavalli did not receive international attention until star Brigitte Bardot was caught sporting his designs while strolling around Saint Tropez.
During the eighties and early nineties Roberto Cavalli may have been relegated to the background since he refused to succumb to the popular trend of minimalism and unisex clothing, but he never gave up. In 1994, as the trends were shifting, he held a fashion show in Milan, sending down the runway sand-blasted jeans, crystal embossed coats, animal prints and shredded leather. His wild, sexy, erotic and fluid designs were instant hits; it is no wonder he now considers celebrities Catherine Zeta-Jones, Charlize Theron, Lenny Kravitz and David and Victoria Beckham amongst his vast array of clients. Four years later, in 1998 Cavalli expanded his label to include ‘Just Cavalli’, a lower priced youth centric line. In 1999 he introduced ‘RC Menswear’ a ready-to-wear high fashion resort collection. That same year he also opened a store, restaurant, café and chocolate factory in New York City, Milan and Florence respectively. In 2000, he launched ‘Class Roberto Cavalli’ a casual ready-to- wear collection for men and women. Cavalli launched both a fragrance, “Roberto Cavalli Parfum” and a home collection in 2002. Five years later, in November of 2007 Cavalli collaborated with the department store H&M to design a line of women’s and men’s wear including underwear and matching accessories. The next year, in December of 2008 he opened his first nightclub in Dubai. The Roberto Cavalli brand currently produces lines for men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing along with handbags, shoes, watches, fragrances, underwear, eyewear and home products
Roberto Cavalli is known within the fashion industry as a genius with leather. In 2002 Fashion Group International named him Designer of the Year. Over the years he has designed touring costumes for the Spice Girls, Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and Shakira.