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Roberto Cavalli (born 1940, Florence) designs some of the most glamorous clothes in fashion: baroque combinations of exotic feathers, overblown florals, animal prints and incredibly lightweight leathers comprise the signature Cavalli look for day or night. Roberto is the king of Italian opulence. The son of a tailor and the grandson of a revered painter (of the Macchiaoli movement), he is an expert embellisher and decorator of textiles. After founding his own fashion company in the early ‘60s, Roberto was one of the first to put leather on the catwalk, patchworking it together for his debut show in 1972, which was staged at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. An outsider to high fashion in the ‘80s, he staged a remarkable comeback in the ‘90s. During this renaissance period, Roberto became the label of choice among the R&B aristocracy, not to mention any starlet who’s ever walked down a red carpet, usually in something very tight or with a serious thigh high split in it, or both. Assisted by his second wife, Eva Düringer, a former Miss Universe, Roberto brought his distinctive look – a unique combination of thrusting sex appeal, artisanal prints and frankly eccentric themes and catwalk shows – to Milan. The collections bearing his name now include Just Cavalli, a menswear line, a childrenswear line, perfume licences vodka and wine.


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