LEGEND PASSES AWAY. With heavy hearts, we announce the loss

Fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has passed away at the age of 83.

The Italian designer, with an estimated net worth of over £400 million ($497 million), hailed from a family of artists. Cavalli was renowned for his affinity for pythons and flamboyant animal prints, making him a favorite among the international jet set for decades.

Italian news agency ANSA reported that Cavalli died at home in Florence after a prolonged illness.

In an Instagram post, Sergio Azzolari, CEO of Roberto Cavalli, expressed condolences to Cavalli’s family, noting the company’s sorrow over his passing.

Cavalli was known for his love of Ferraris, big cigars, and his signature unbuttoned dress shirts revealing his tanned chest. He also owned a purple helicopter and a vineyard in Tuscany, and he was on a first-name basis with many Hollywood celebrities.

Since 2014, Cavalli had been in a relationship with Sandy Nilsson, a Swedish model 45 years his junior. Last year, they welcomed a son, Cavalli’s sixth child, whom they named Giorgio in honor of Cavalli’s father, who was killed by the Nazis during World War II. Cavalli emotionally shared the news, saying, “The baby was born a week ago in Florence. He is beautiful, and seeing him right after he was born made me cry big tears. His name is Giorgio, like his grandfather, my father whom the Nazis shot in the Cavriglia massacre when I was four years old.”

Roberto Cavalli had two children, Tommaso and Cristina, with his first wife, Silvanella Giannoni, whom he married in 1964 and divorced ten years later. He also had three children—Robert, Rachele, and Daniele—from his second marriage to Eva Maria Duringer, a former Miss Europe.

Cavalli often spoke about the challenges he faced growing up after his father’s death, which left him mute until he was 18. He recalled, “My father was shot by the Germans in July 1944 during a raid on Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni. He worked as a surveyor for a mine in the Valdarno. I didn’t talk until 18. But life has been kind to me [and I have been] rewarded for everything.”

Born on November 15, 1940, in Florence, Italy—a city famed for leatherwork—Cavalli gained fame for his use of printed leather and sandblasted, stretchy jeans. He founded his namesake brand in 1975, quickly becoming known for its animal print clothing favored by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé.

In 2005, Cavalli was commissioned to redesign the Playboy Bunnies’ iconic uniform, naturally opting for a leopard print design.

Giorgio Armani praised Cavalli as a “true artist” who would be “greatly missed,” stating on X (formerly Twitter), “I have never had a more different view of fashion than Roberto Cavalli’s, but I have always had a lot of respect for him. Roberto was a true artist, and his use of prints was wild and wonderful. He could turn fantasy into seductive clothes. I have learnt with great sadness of his passing: his Tuscan verve will be greatly missed.”

Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima called Cavalli a “legend” and shared a photo with him on her Instagram stories, writing, “Not sorry in style and spirit. We lost a great person today. Rest in peace.”

Victoria Beckham, former Spice Girl and now fashion designer, also paid tribute, calling him an “icon.”

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