After founding his own fashion company in the early ’60s, Cavalli was one of the first to put leather on a catwalk, patchworking it together for his debut show in 1972, which was staged at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Cavalli was an outsider to high fashion during the ’80s, but staged a remarkable comeback in the ’90s. In this renaissance period, Cavalli has become the label of choice among the R&B; aristocracy, not to mention any starlet with both the bravado and the body to carry off one of his attention-seeking frocks.
Assisted by his second wife Eva Duringer, a former Miss Universe, Cavalli brought his distinctive look – a unique combination of thrusting sex appeal, artisanal prints and frankly eccentric themes and catwalk shows – to the Milan collections, where press and clients alike received him with open arms. The collections bearing his name now include Just Cavalli, a menswear line, a childrenswear line and perfume licences, among others. In 2003 his company scored a turnover of ˆ 289 million and its collections are distributed in over 30 countries. Cavalli also owns one of Italy’s best racehorse stud farms.