In the Capital to launch his flagship store, Roberto Cavalli is full of optimism for India
The years might have caught up with him, but Roberto Cavalli still epitomises cool. Dressed in a black jacket and blue jeans with a muffler and sunglasses thrown in for effect, the 72-year-old fashion mogul was in the Capital for the launch of the Roberto Cavalli Boutique and the adjoining Cavalli Caffe at DLF Emporio.
Adjacent to the Armani showroom and overlooking Versace’s, Cavalli is clearly a late entrant to high-end fashion market in India. But when asked about the reasons for the same, Cavalli, after a moment of deep thought, joked, “Because I am a shy guy.”
Shy is perhaps the last word you’d want to invoke for Cavalli, whose line of feminine underwear, designed in 2004, depicted Hindu goddesses. For Cavalli, as he himself claimed in an earlier interview, excess is success.
And some of that excess is on display in the boutique, whose black marble floor has diamonds encrusted and whose panel work was done by Florentine artisans. “You told me welcome to India, I can tell you welcome to my planet,” he said.
The 400 square feet store embodies the ‘global fashion store’ concept, like other Cavalli flagship stores located in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. It will house the women’s and men’s pret-a-porter collections, kids wear as well as accessories including timewear and eyewear.
The last of these, Cavalli revealed, is hugely popular all over Europe, but might be a bit redundant in India.
“My glasses are very strong in Europe. We have them in different colours and sizes and European women are very much taken in by them. I don’t see Indian women wearing sunglasses, maybe because they have such beautiful eyes. Anyway, just in case you are buying sunglasses, buy Cavalli glasses.”
The guided tour that followed seemed to confirm what Cavalli said earlier, comparing his fashion to an art exhibition.
Belief in India
Remembering his previous visits to India, Cavalli said “India used to be a poor country. Now, the power and intelligence of people is striking. Everyone speaks about the importance of China, but for me it’s India.”
“I do believe in the Indian market and I love the taste for fashion of Indian people…they have a way to mix and match bright colours that is so exciting, and really close to my optimistic vision of fashion and glamour.” Singling out the sari for praise, he added that its embroidered “style is not Cavalli but the taste is very Cavalli”.
Speaking of taste, the Cavalli Caffe is the logical extension of the luxury and gentility that the Roberto Cavalli brand is synonymous with. The furniture is dotted with animal prints and the walls are adorned with photos of the designer with sundry celebrities. The cafe is the second of its kind (the first being in Florence), and is based on the experience of the Caffe Giacosa, an antique shop founded in 1815, which served the Florentine nobility. It will sell Cavalli red wine, Cavalli Italian vodka, chocolate gift boxes and other items. The designer also hopes to launch the Cavalli Club, an after dinner destination which operates in a few cities across the globe, in India shortly.
The brand has been brought to India by Infinite Luxury Brand Pvt. Ltd. comprising designer Manav Gangwani, entrepreneur Sahiba Narang and finance expert Rahul Kapoor. Summing up their effort in bringing the label to India, Manav said, “Beautiful things do not come easy.”