When we talk about experimentation in fashion, one name immediately comes to mind: Roberto Cavalli, the man who transferred his artistic background to his creations.
Born in Florence in 1940, Roberto Cavalli has always been influenced by art: his grandfather, indeed, was Giuseppe Rossi, an Italian impressionist painter who was a member of the Macchiaioli movement. Predictably, he soon developed a particular taste in arts that lead him to study at Florence Academy of Fine Arts, concentrating his studies on fabric painting.
At the beginning of the ’70s he discovered and patented a particular technique that permits to paint leather: this event gave him inspiration for his first color and fabric patchwork, that became one of the trade-marks of his eccentric style.
His first collection, presented in Florence in 1970 didn’t conquer the Italian audience. Despite this “failure”, he had a great success abroad, in France above all, where he obtained the admiration of famous fashion designers like Hermes and Pierre Cardin. He had to wait until 1977 to start collecting the achievements he aimed to from his country, after a new course his career took when his wife became his business partner.
After some years in which Roberto Cavalli seemed to prefer other activities instead of fashion, in 1994 he came back with a renovation of his brand: he presented brand new collections and also launched a prêt a porter line for women and men, Freedom, that also included accessories and lingerie. But the line that best represented the designer’s return was Just Cavalli, whose collections of clothing and accessories were designed for younger people.
The same interest in a younger audience lead him to collaborate with H&M: in 2007 the “Roberto Cavalli at H&M” collection for men and women was in the stores with several pieces of affordable clothing and accessories that were sold in a few hours. At the same way, after a few years he addressed to teenagers with a line designed for them: Angels&Devils.
When looking at a Cavalli dress, you can guess at a first look who created it because the designer has adopted a very peculiar style that makes it immediately recognizable. This style is characterized by some recurring element that put him very far from simplicity, first of all the mix of different materials: a same item can be done of denim, leather and why not? Feathers, resulting in something absolutely unique.
Another typical feature of Cavalli’s style is patchwork – in particular on aged denim-, that combines a mix of fabrics and patterns that sometimes take inspiration from different cultures.
Patterns are the third element that makes Cavalli’s items so easily recognizable: the fashion designer takes inspiration by nature with his floral and animalier patterns, the most famous of which is the spotted one.
These features have contributed to create a style that’s never the same but that evolves over and over again and that can be summarized in few adjectives: sensual, nonconformist, dynamic.
Unlike other designers who follow a classic style, Cavalli is particularly interested in innovation and experimentation. His unmistakable creations have been admired from several celebrities who have worn them, from Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren in the ’70 to Shakira, Lenny Kravitz and Beyonce lately.
In 2010 Roberto Cavalli maison celebrated its 40th anniversary: in that occasion a special collection was launched and welcomed from the audience with the same enthusiasm that has made the designer famous everywhere. Until today, for the international world of fashion Roberto Cavalli remains one of the bravest innovators of all times.