From Bella Hadid to Kim Kardashian, these vintage Roberto Cavalli designs are back
Ready for animal prints and bleached denim? There’s probably no better time than now to grab Cavalli’s star-turned-vintage designs just yet on a secondhand platform.
Wild animal prints and bleached denim pieces – Cavalli’s loud vintage pieces are back
Vintage pieces from the ’90s and ’00s are still going strong. The latest trend on secondhand platforms? Between monogrammed Louis Vuitton, slinky Galliano and kitschy Miss Sixty, millennials and Gen Z are currently scouring Vestiaire Collective, Vinted and eBay for flashy animal prints and bleached denims by Roberto Cavalli.
Roberto Cavalli stands for Italian opulence
After all, more has always been more in the house of Cavalli. The maximalist style of Mr. Cavalli, who is now 81 years old, has been reinterpreted time and again over the years – by designers such as Peter Dundas, Paul Surridge and most recently Fausto Puglisi, who was appointed creative consultant in 2020.
Puglisi thus joined the brand and the fashion landscape in a pandemic era marked by phygital shows and waist-cinching dresses. He was able to win over the likes of Doja Cat, Cardi B, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Lisa, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion and Miley Cyrus with his edgy designs despite this (or precisely because of it).
Fausto Puglisi is reviving Cavalli today
“I’m a born designer,” he told British VOGUE, adding the following qualities that set him apart: “Flamboyantes and confidence, and the Italian sense of embellishment, prints [and] metallic details as an expression of art.” So Roberto Cavalli was a perfect fit for him: “Cavalli is its own form of self-expression, fashionable extravagance [and] opulent eccentricity. The label is Italian, fast like a Ferrari, loud and bold.”
The designer’s revival of popular vintage codes from the house – such as the tiger print from the Fall/Winter 2000 collection, which Puglisi reworked for Spring/Summer 2022 – also attracted a renewed following among the stars. At the same time, general interest in Roberto Cavalli originals skyrocketed.
Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian initiated the hype
Christelle McCracken, founder of My Runway Archive – a store specializing in ’90s and ’00s fashion – cites Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian as catalysts for the hype: “When two of the biggest trendsetters in the world pick up on a particular vintage look, it doesn’t take long for other celebrities to follow suit,” she explains. “We actually live in times of minimalism. But right now, people are drawn to overly loud, over-the-top designs. I think that’s exactly why we’re seeing a rise in interest in Roberto Cavalli and his maximalist designs.”
Cavalli’s designs represent strength and glamour
“Roberto Cavalli has understood how to dress a woman in a way that makes her feel sexy and stylish at the same time with his body-hugging and flamboyant designs,” adds McCracken. “Cavalli celebrates a woman’s sensuality and rebellion by using fabrics that accentuate the female form, adding glamour but also strength,” adds Ameli Lindgren, founder of vintage store Nordic Poetry. “Cavalli’s flamboyant prints create fun just by wearing them, and that’s what fashion should be about,” says Puglisi, who continues the legacy, ensuring that each collection gives new strength.
Dresses that catch the eye are Cavalli’s trademark – but his bleached jeans from the mid-’90s are also becoming cult again. The sand-blasted denim is becoming increasingly popular; the low-cut jeans, like the expressive prints, are the current rage in Gen Z.
Prints and denims by Cavalli are back
Insider tip? Keep your eyes peeled for pieces from the early ’00s, especially the spring/summer 2003 collection that was hyped by the Kardashian-Jenners and Dua Lipa, among others. “Pieces with references to celebrity wear:ers show great popularity,” asserts Cherie Balch, founder of Shrimpton Couture.
“Use websites such as VOGUE Runway to research past collections,” McCracken advises. “If you’re familiar with the looks on the runway, you’ll recognize a good piece at first glance. The knowledge is valuable because the good designs are often gone quickly as soon as they show up on Vestiaire Collective or eBay.”
Vintage leather pieces by Cavalli are considered collector’s items
Cavalli’s leather designs are true collectors’ items, Balch says. In the early years of his career, the designer developed a technique to transfer his unique prints onto lightweight leather, which he used for dresses and ready-to-wear garments. “If you’re a big Cavalli enthusiast, finding some of these rare and early pieces will give you the greatest pleasure.”