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Roberto Cavalli
Roberto CavalliPhotography Arnaldo Magnani/Liaison via Getty Images

Legendary fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has died

Cavalli passed away today in Milan at the age of 83

Acclaimed fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has passed away in Milan at the age of 83. Born in Florence in 1940, Cavalli launched his eponymous brand in 1970 and became known for a bold and glamorous signature style that included brash snakeskin, tiger prints and sandblasted denim.

“Dear Roberto, you may not be physically here with us anymore but I know I will feel your spirit with me always,” wrote Fausto Puglisi, the current creative director of Roberto Cavalli in an Instagram tribute. “It is the greatest honour of my career to work under your legacy and to create for the brand you founded with such vision and style,” Puglisi continued. “Rest in peace you will be missed and you are loved by so many that your name will continue on, a beacon of inspiration for others, and especially for me.”

Sergio Azzolari, CEO of the label, also added that “the Roberto Cavalli company shares condolences with Mr. Cavalli’s family loss. His legacy remains a constant source of inspiration.”

At the start of his career in the 70s, Cavalli developed an innovative technique of printing on leather and this led to notoriety within the Parisian fashion scene, later allowing him to open his first store in St. Tropez in 1972. The designer then remained at the helm of his brand until 2015, when Peter Dundas took over as creative director.

For the fashion designer, creativity was in his blood. His mother Marcella was a seamstress, and her father – Cavalli’s grandfather – was an artist whose work was displayed in Florence’s Uffizi gallery, and was also a member of the Macchiaioli art movement.

The designer leaves behind six children – Tommaso and Christiana from his first marriage, and Robert, Sara, and Daniele from his second. According to reports from Italian news agency ANSA, the designer “had been ill for some time and in recent days his health conditions [had] significantly worsened.”

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