Roberto Cavalli was born in Florence, Tuscany on 15th November 1940. He was the son of Giorgio (a mine surveyor) and Marcella (a tailor) Cavalli. He enrolled in the local Art Institute in Florence and was very interested in textile print. He caught the attention of major Italian hosiery factories with his flower prints on knit, all of which happened during his time as a student. He married his first wife who was a fellow student; Silvanella Giannoni in the 1960’s. They had two children together; Christiana and Tommaso however they eventually divorced in the early 1970’s. Cavalli re-married his companion and business partner in the late 1970’s; Eva Duringer whom he met whilst judging at a Miss Universe Beauty pageant. They have three children together; Rachele, Daniele and Robin. He is famously known worldwide for his exotic animal prints.
He patented a revolutionary printing procedure onto leather during the 1970’s and thereafter he created patchworks of different materials. Hermès and Pierre Cardine commissioned his work after seeing these techniques which Cavalli debuted in Paris. His first collection was shown at the Salon for Prêt-à-Porter in Paris when he was 30 years old and thereafter he brought his collection to Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The first Roberto Cavalli boutique was opened in Saint Tropez, France in the early 1970’s.
In 1994 Cavalli had created another fashion must have – sand-blasted jeans which were first shown in Milan. By December that year, he had opened numerous boutiques; Saint Barths, Venice and Saint Tropez.
His main line of clothing is sold worldwide but he also has other major clothing lines; RC Menswear as well as Just Cavalli (which was launched in the late 1990’s and is a youth aimed line) which comprises; menswear, womenswear and accessories, eyewear, watches, perfumes, underwear and beachwear. He also has Angels & Devils Children Collection, the Class line, two underwear collections, shoes, eye-wear, watches and perfumes.
In Florence you can find Cavalli’s first café-store which was opened in 2002. Shortly after this followed the opening of the Just Cavalli café at Torre Branca and another boutique on Via della Spiga both in Milan.