Roberto Cavalli To Retire – 90% of Business Stakes Sold


Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli has sold a 90% stake in the business to Clessidra, a private Italian equity firm, drawing 42 years of self-ownership to a close.

Known as the “Leopard King” for his signature work with exotic prints, Cavalli’s legacy extends to the revolution of textiles, from patenting leather printing to incorporating Lycra into denim to create stretch jeans – all these and more have paved new avenues for innovative fashion since the 1980s.

In spite of his reluctance to retire as mentioned in a 2011 interview with Vogue, it was revealed in March 2014 that Cavalli was willing to sell up to 80% of business stakes. Peter Dundas’ shift from Pucci and appointment as the creative director of the Florentine maison earlier this year was also a harbinger for his 74 year-old predecessor’s retirement.

Clessidra had prior negotiations with the brand in 2009 to acquire nearly 30% of Roberto Cavalli, though the sale fell through due to disagreements.

The valuation of this successful sale with Clessidra has not been revealed but a statement by the design magnate insinuates that he was pleased.  

“I am extremely satisfied to have signed this agreement with an Italian partner which, I am sure, will further develop what I have built in a lifetime,” Cavalli affirmed. “Clessidra will provide financial, managerial and human resources that will allow the company to grow further and face the challenges of the ever-evolving luxury market.”

Former chief executive of Bulgari and current vice-chairman of Clessidra, Francesco Trapani, will take on the role as chairman of Roberto Cavalli in lieu of the sale.