Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli Dies at 83

Roberto Cavalli is renowned for his extravagant designs, including leopard-print dresses and bejeweled jeans. His legacy extends from upscale hippie frocks in the '70s to one of the biggest fashion names in the '90s.

1 min read
Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli Dies at 83
Roberto Cavalli at Milan fashion week, 2014. Photo: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Renowned Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, famed for his extravagant style and lavish creations has died in Florence at the age of 83. The news of his death was announced by his company on Instagram, though no further details were provided.

Cavalli, whose designs showcased glamour and excess, was a prominent figure in the fashion from the mid-1990s onwards. With stores across the globe and a legion of celebrity admirers including Lenny Kravitz and Cindy Crawford, he became synonymous with opulence and flamboyance.

“Roberto loved excess, but he never lost his point of view,” remarked Nina Garcia, editor-in-chief of Elle magazine. “Even when minimalism was the norm, he believed in maximalism. He dressed us thinking that life — and fashion — should be lived at full speed.”

His signature style, described as “molto sexy, molto animal print and molto, molto Italiano,” remained consistent throughout his career, earning him international acclaim. From the patchwork denim of the 1970s to the luxury denim innovations of the 1990s, Cavalli continually reinvented his designs while staying true to his bold aesthetic.

Beyond his influence on the runway, Cavalli’s impact extended to entertainment, with a clientele that included Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, and the Spice Girls. He even collaborated with Playboy to revamp the iconic bunny costume.

A true embodiment of his brand, Cavalli lived a lifestyle as vibrant as his creations. From piloting his iridescent purple helicopter to sailing the Mediterranean in a matching yacht, he embraced extravagance at every turn.

Born in 1940 in a small village in Tuscany, Cavalli’s journey to fashion stardom was marked by tragedy and triumph. Despite losing his father during World War II, he found his passion for design at the Istituto d’Arte in Florence.

In 1964, Roberto Cavalli married Silvanella Giannoni, with whom he had two children. However, they divorced in 1974. Later, in 1980, he tied the knot with Eva Duringer, whom he met during his judging stint at the 1977 Miss Universe pageant. Together, they had three children, and Eva also became his business partner. The couple collaborated until they eventually sold the business, but they parted ways in 2010. In 2023, he welcomed his sixth child, a son, with his partner, Swedish model and actor Sandra Nilsson.

Throughout his illustrious career, Cavalli remained steadfast in his commitment to creativity and self-expression. As he once remarked, “Fashion that is not crazy is not fashion.”

Leave a Reply