Page 144 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VII

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S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
F
rom fashion to interior design, the Cavalli brands
have graced the lifestyles of many of the world’s
most stylish people. They have become an icon
deeply engraved in the culture of luxury. In this issue of
Simply Abu Dhabi, we talk to the man behind it all: the
one and only Roberto Cavalli.
With a total of 14 Cavalli boutiques spread between Dubai
and Abu Dhabi, the work of Roberto Cavalli is undeniably
in demand throughout the UAE. That explains why Dubai
was chosen as the launching site for the first international
Cavalli Club.
In a single sentence, Cavalli Club can be best described as
the epitome of luxury, fashion and fine dining, all fused
under one roof. Governed by a strict “guest list only” policy,
Dubai’s Cavalli Club at the Fairmont Hotel is the most
exclusive nightspot in the Middle East. And soon, Dubai
will be joined by several other select cities across the world,
which will also play host to Cavalli Clubs and Cafés in the
near future.
While the Cavalli Club concept is the latest brainchild of
Roberto Cavalli, Simply Abu Dhabi took the rare
opportunity to quiz himmore broadly on how he has been
able to continuously take his brand into new directions.
The Cavalli history
When you opened your first boutique in St Tropez
in 1972, did you ever envisage yourself as an
international fashion icon?
The 1970s were a wonderful time for me, and I
continuously find inspiration from this time to incorporate
into my collections. Living and working in St Tropez was
something I will never forget. I was surrounded by carefree
attitudes and glamour: that is what defines the decade for
me. I just wanted to do what I liked, and my desire was
always to share my creations with people around me.
At what point in your career did you realise that
‘Roberto Cavalli’ had become a household name?
It was natural to me: I started doing what I liked, what I
believed in, and people started to like it as well, wanting to
have my pieces in their wardrobes. This is my biggest
compliment and achievement!
Your mother was a tailor. How influential was she in
your decision to pursue a career in fashion?
My mother was my first example of the strength and
elegance that can exist in a woman. That's stayed with me
my entire life – it's the first thing I look for in any woman
I encounter. The female form was so appreciated at that
time: it was accentuated, not hidden, by the clothes women
wore. I may not remember a specific piece of hers, but I've
always maintained the idea that a woman's body is
something beautiful to be complimented and shown off.
Joyful, surprising fashion
Your designs are known to be bold and
revolutionary. Does this mean you are not afraid to
take risks with your work?
My brand is authentic. As a creator, I’m certainly not afraid
of changes, and I like to continuously surprise my
customers with new things. I think this element of joy and
surprise is what keeps the label hot, season after season. A
Cavalli piece – any Cavalli piece – is special, and that’s what
people look for today from designers: something special,
something that makes you dream.
As the creator of the ‘sand-blasted’ look for jeans,
how does it make you feel to know that this
particular design is replicated by jean makers across
the world?
At the beginning of my career as a designer, I experimented
with new technologies to create materials, culminating in
my invention and patent of a revolutionary printing
procedure on leather and denim. The prints have become
the backbone of my collection. I like to think that when
people start to copy you, it is because you are going down
the right path – your experiments generated something
new. But I don’t believe that copying is a good choice for
designers.
Cavalli is always a popular choice for celebrities on
the red carpet. Are you selective over whom you
dress? Is there a certain criteria you tend to follow?
I feel very lucky to dress women that are my friends on the
red carpet. Of course I love seeing beautiful women in my
clothes, but they do not necessarily have to be celebrities. I
have a lot of friends who are constantly in the spotlight,
and I like to dress them as they are beautiful women, not
because they are simply famous. I am very particular and
the criteria is that the dress has to be right for each
personality.
What prompted you to launch the Roberto Cavalli
children’s line, Roberto Cavalli Junior?
My strength as a designer is that I have created a lifestyle,
not just a style. The lifestyle I created is an optimistic, lively,
joyous and positive one. For me creativity is absolutely
limitless and this is howRoberto Cavalli Junior was created
– especially considering that I always have my grandkids
around. I love to be with them, and creating pieces for
them is a lot of fun!!
What is one essential fashion accessory that you
cannot be without?
I love accessories – big watches, nice shoes, scarves.
Accessories are always essential to personalise the style.
Delivering dreams
The Cavalli Yacht is well known for its distinctive
colour scheme, which changes colours under
different lights. Why did you choose this particular
design?
I designed the yacht myself. This boat represents me. It
looks like me. It’s unique. People can like it or not. But
there’s nothing like that in the world. Kind of like my
clothes.
Abu Dhabi is known to be the yacht capital of the
Middle East. Do you have plans to bring your Cavalli
Yacht to Abu Dhabi anytime soon?
Why not? I am always planning to travel around with the
yacht, but the issue is always time…
Interestingly, you have a pilot’s license to fly
helicopters. How and why did you get into this
hobby?
I love the feeling of discovering, and feeling adventurous –
and that’s what drove me to this hobby. I love to pilot
myself. Sometimes I just take the helicopter up to fly when
the sun is setting. From up there it is a dream to watch the
light fading on the Tuscan hills.
For decades, the Cavalli brand has been world-
renowned in the realms of fashion – so what inspired
you to diversify your brand into other areas, such as
cafés and interior design?
As I said, it is all about lifestyle! Roberto Cavalli is a way of
life, a dream…
The strategy of diversification has surely proved to
be successful, as everything the Cavalli brand
touches seems to turn to gold! How do you decide
which new area to conquer?
My job is to deliver dreams. So everything comes inspired
by the freedom to develop one’s internal wishes. It’s not
only products, but every aspect of the brand.
Cavalli in the UAE
Why did you choose the UAE to launch the Cavalli
Club concept?
It is a place where I have a really good time and where I
always like to come back. I have spent many lovely times
with my family and friends in Dubai. It is truly a unique
and glamorous city. So it is a great place to have a Cavalli
Club, right?
How is the Cavalli Club different to other luxury
clubs?
At one point in my career, a very important journalist told
me he thought my talent as a designer was an ability to
catch the spirit of the time. The times are continuously
changing and I always have the desire of new resources –
yet with lots of glamour and a great design aesthetic, as well
as creativity. Cavalli Club is part of that, it is a unique place
that carries the brand identity and the joy of life!
In addition to the Cavalli Club in Dubai, there are
plans to launch the Cavalli Café in Abu Dhabi. Any
update on how soon this will happen?
I personally like UAE very much, so you are always in my
plans…
Abu Dhabi has demonstrated exceptional growth
over the past decade. What are your thoughts on Abu
Dhabi as an emerging metropolis?
Abu Dhabi is continuously expanding, which is wonderful
to see. I believe that women fromAbu Dhabi and Roberto
Cavalli have lots in common. They are colourful,
glamorous and with lots of energy, as I am.
When in the UAE, how do you tend to spend your
time? Are there any particular hotels or restaurants
that you like to visit?
I fly to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for business very often. It is
a lot of fun! I love to go around the city, taking pictures,
trying the food, observing people. It is one of few places in
the world where you can have fun and at the same time
enjoy the unique beauty of the surrounding nature. My
favourite place there is Cavalli Club – no doubts!
For more information on Roberto Cavalli please
visit:
Tomake a Reservation at Cavalli Restaurant &Club
Dubai please visit: