Roberto Cavalli is indeed the grandmaster of what’s ruffle and sexy today. He is always in the news as a newsmaker himself or as a shoe-making newsmaker. He recently hit the headlines after designing concert attires for the 2007 World Tour of Spice Girls. The shoes especially, were patterned by a master, in a sexy leopard print on canvas. A lavish lifestyle in a Tuscan home, pool and super yacht included, are no less in taste than the women shoes he designs. With last year’s turnover of €700 million, equivalent to £490 million, Cavalli has the right and means to live large.
When it comes to Roberto Cavalli footwear, the clientele lines an all-star female front from Jennifer Lopez to Kate Moss, from Shakira to Christina Aguilera. And it rarely is about the cost, but the art and the brand name prestige.
Born in 1940, Cavalli started designing at the age of 20. He has since seen and known success at a personal level since those days he designed an exclusive line at H and M. Success in designing dresses, lingerie, and shoes, has helped him carve the brand into a successful diversification strategy including Roberto Cavalli Vodka, Roberto Cavalli children’s wear, Roberto Cavalli jeans and Roberto Cavalli men’s wear. Outperforming these products however, has been the Roberto Cavalli shoe collection, one of the most amazing creations of this lavish man.
The Roberto Cavalli label has become a global phenomenon, attracting suitors from all over. A Saudi Arabian private equity firm has expressed interest in a 60% stake of the €2 billion business. Other suitors include the Italian equity fund, Clessidra SGR SpA, headed by Cavalli’s close friend, who wants a 20% stake. As the debate goes on of whether he will sell out, especially now that the business end has been on a low for some time, Roberto has promised to stay focused on amplifying the success of his line.
The 68 year-old Cavalli hails from Florence, Italy. His family was biased towards the arts and it was no surprise when the young Cavalli chose to join the local Art institute. His specialty was textile print, and he successfully caught the eyes of a large Italian hosiery firms with his flower prints embossed on knit. It is largely believed that this is where Roberto Cavalli learnt to imbibe innovative experiments, which dominate his work today. When Roberto Cavalli designs a shoe, he is most likely going to push the artwork technique to the very limits of innovation. The women who love Cavalli shoes display this characteristic of lavish creativity and a truly liberal attitude to design. From the synthetic materials used, mostly lashed in natural leather, to the patched prints of the shoe fronts, the shoes are for women who don’t jitter in self-esteem and confidence.
Roberto’s fortune perhaps started in the early 70s, when he patented an invention of a revolutionary leather printing procedure. He soon started using the technique in creating patchworks on a wide range of materials. Such was the quality of his work that when he came to Paris with these innovative techniques, they were immediately commissioned by great fashion names like Hermès, Pierre Cardin, among others. It was in Paris at an age of thirty, that he showcased his debut collection and opened the first boutique at Saint-Tropez with the Roberto Cavalli shoe line. By 1994, the Roberto Cavalli line had 13 boutiques from Saint Berth to the French Caribbean, from Venice to Saint-Tropez. His line was now on sale in over 50 nations of the world.
Roberto Cavalli womens shoes have therefore been inspired from such a rich past of naturalistic designs. What is different about Roberto Cavalli shoe designs is the inlaid idiosyncratic style fabulously entangled in natural and artificial materials. Roberto has been famed not only for focusing on the details of the artwork, for most of his she designs feature prolific art, but also for harmonizing the holistic image of a shoe. Most of Roberto Cavalli shoes have a tinge of excesses, put on opposing sides and yet balanced in a new artistic harmony that is very rare in footwear designs. The heels for instance of some of the Roberto Cavalli footwear will be black, a back that is translucent, with edge filaments of patchwork prints.
To achieve these vibrant patterns, Roberto Cavalli shoes are made using the most advanced print technologies available. This is imbibed on an apparent inspiration of nature such as flower motifs, jungle shades and the famous predilection towards animal prints. Such a shoe captures the personality of most young women in the fast lane, where the confidence and positive liberal attitude matter the most.