Speaking before unveiling a womens autumn-winter collection
for his youth-focused Just Cavalli line, the designer said he
gave his clothes to famous people, but refused to engage a
celebrity to promote his brand — a role known as a testimonial.
"I want fashion to be different from the way it is today, less
linked to publicity, less tied to all those stars," Cavalli said
backstage before his show at Milan's Arco della Pace monument.
Fashion and luxury brands have long allied themselves with
celebrities to get media and consumer attention.
Recently, fashion house Versace chose Lady Gaga to appear in its
campaigns, while down jacket maker Moncler featured U.S. rapper
Pharrell Williams in adverts for its sunglasses.
"I don't have testimonials. If they want pieces they call me and
I give them willingly — and I don't make them pay."
But Cavalli admitted he was pleased when celebrities wore his
"I received a beautiful photo of Jennifer Lopez wearing Cavalli.
I wasn't expecting it!" he beamed.
Cavalli said it was important to stay in close contact with his
customers to find out what styles they want.
"I go and talk to the shop assistants…this helps me to
understand people's desires.
The 73 year-old has also found a more technologically advanced
way to sound out his clients' preferences.
"If I'm unsure about two things, like a bag or a color…I put
both on Instagram," Cavalli chuckled. "Then I write: which one
do you prefer?"
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Cavalli's show on Thursday was themed on a "rock
renaissance" inspired by his native Florence. Models strutted around
a rectangular runway wearing shaggy fur coats, tight patterned
trousers and fringed suede boots which disappeared under short,
Diesel jeans founder Renzo Rosso, whose Staff International unit
makes and distributes clothes for Just Cavalli, praised the
collection and said the brand's sales were growing fast.
"I liked the connection between Roberto Cavalli's
creativity and his technological capabilities," Rosso said, adding
he was personally dressed in Cavalli-branded clothes.
"We are growing at a double digit rate with Cavalli."
Elsewhere in Milan on Thursday, Blugirl designer Anna Molinari
presented a collection themed on "Swinging London" in the 1970s and
Italian fashion powerhouse Prada showed shearling coats with
contrasting woolly trim over translucent dresses that revealed
cartoonish patterned underpants.
Designer Miuccia Prada, who is known for making statements on issues
including women's rights with her catwalk collections, said after
the show, "I don't want to do politics, it's fashion. I want to
reflect on life."
Milan's biannual women's fashion week continues on Friday with shows
for veteran designer Giorgio Armani's Emporio Armani line, and
storied brand Versace.
(Reporting by Isla Binnie)
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