On the 40th anniversary of his label, Roberto Cavalli reveals to Harper’s Bazaar why leopard is lovely, imitation is unflattering, and the party should never end.
Cavalli, pictured above with his wife, Eva, their son, Daniele, their flamboyant friends, as well as a lion cub, at their home in Florence, Italy, shares what he loves about women, why he thinks he's a "typical man" and more in June's issue of Harper Bazaar featuring Katherine Heigl on the cover.
Harper's Bazaar Article, Laura Brown (author)
The genius of Roberto Cavalli is that he lives exactly as he should. He is not a subtle man, and he doesn't make subtle clothes. Cavalli lives a leopard-print life.
Take, for example, his casa on a hill overlooking Florence, Italy. A 14th-century watchtower, it has four birdcages housing colorful macaws and a hysterical cockatoo, dozens of crystal balls, walls of classical portraits, a Julian Schnabel plate painting of his wife, Eva, a cellar full of Cavalli wine and Cavalli vodka, a tanning machine, and a bedazzled motorbike. Down the hill is Cavalli's ultramodern photo studio, a techtastic palace with light-up floors.
On fall’s low-key tailoring: “Minimalism is so boring.”
On other designers taking inspiration from his trademark ideas: “In the beginning, when people copied me I was happy.”
But now, “I can understand when H&M or Zara copies me, but I hate it when big designers copy me. You have a big name, you should never copy me.”
On the provenance of his trademark leopard print: “God created such a fantastic world. Leopard is an animal design, and my designs come from nature.”
On his love for fashion, and for women: “Of course I think about a beautiful woman to dress, because that’s my way,” he says with a shrug.
Is there a difference? “Yes,” he says. “I don’t masturbate thinking about fashion.”
On what he loves about women: “Their eyes. A woman can drive me crazy with her eyes. And when they don’t pay attention to me, they drive me crazy too.” “I am a completely typical man.”
Photo credit: Jason Schmidt; article: Harper's Bazaar (June 2010)