A favourite with the St. Tropez jetset and nicknamed “the Italian King of Bling,” Roberto Cavalli is synonymous with the finer things in life. Currently cruising the balmy coast of Cannes on his super yacht, he took time out from entertaining to chat to i-D about life, luxury and living it large. Climb aboard!
Good Morning Mr Cavalli, where are you at the moment?
Good morning. I’m on my yacht in Cannes. It’s a breezy, sunny and very cinematic day.
If you were to suggest a holiday destination for i-D, no expenses spared, where would it be and why?
Wandering through the seas with my yacht I’ve discovered a small, secluded green and marvellous island, the name of which I won’t reveal. I want to keep it all for me. It’s my own little kingdom. When I’m there, I feel like the king of the jungle, with the sea at hand.
What will you be wearing this summer? Describe your look from day to evening...
For once, I’ll give up my beloved black T-shirts in favour of some lavish shirts, a few with subtle embroideries and little crafted details, the others plain which I’ll wear with the sleeves rolled up. I’ll pair those with jeans, of course, and a leather jacket or a tuxedo jacket at night.
Very slick. What will you wear on your feet?
I like going around barefoot in the summer: it makes me feel wild. But my lizard skin loafers and boots are always in reach, just in case.
Describe a typical day on your yacht?
There is nothing like a typical day for me, not even on vacation. I’m an instinctive Scorpio, and I hate routine. Anyway, on an average day on the yacht there’s a lot of swimming, and tons of chats with my guests. And a sprinkle of unexpected adventure.
Sounds heavenly. What would your soundtrack be?
A wide-angled mix of great 60s themes, 70s disco, 80s stuff, a bit of The Doors, plus those unavoidable evergreens from my friends Lenny, Christina, Shakira, and whatever catches my ear and mood of the day. I’m a music man. I need a soundtrack to whatever I do.
What will you be drinking? What’s your favourite summer tipple?
I don’t like cocktails so much. I prefer champagne: simple and luxurious. I like champagne made in France by some small producers, still coming in jewel-like handmade bottles.
You have always surrounded yourself with beautiful women. Who are your current inspirations?
Womanliness is timeless. I don’t think of any woman in particular, but I’m forever inspired by the beauty, strength, independence and power that assertive women always ooze and possess.
Your designs are always associated with glamour. What do you believe defines style in a woman?
Personality. Stylish glamorous women, no matter what, are always powerful individuals, and they always look perfectly in control.
You certainly elevate women through your designs. Where does your understanding and love of the female form originate?
From my Italian manliness, I guess. And also from my art studies.
You’ve always championed the idea that sex sells. Do you ever think that less is more?
Yes, I do. Less, to me, is more... luxurious!
What three things do you think every woman should own?
Body consciousness, diamonds and a slinky animal print Cavalli dress.
No Cavalli collection is complete without animal print. Where does your love for the big cat come from?
The spotted feline is like a woman: wild, sensual and harmonious, it seduces with the eyes. If you get too close, the leopard scratches, and leaves a mark. That’s a good depiction of the kind of woman I’m drawn to.
Who is your ultimate i-Con?
My wife, Eva. She’s the strongest woman I ever met, a great mother and the fuel of my imagination. Without her, I’d feel incomplete.
What is the ultimate dress you have designed?
There’s a bit of me in everything I make, so it’s difficult for me to choose. This said, the tiger print long dress of the spring/summer 07 collection works like a flagrant embodiment of the Cavalli spirit.
What is your biggest extravagance?
Is living every single day of your life to the fullest considered an extravagance? That’s mine.