News & Scoops

2009 February 26

The REAL Scoop on the Fate of Just Cavalli

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(MILAN) As promised, Roberto Cavalli unveiled approximately 20 looks of his Just Cavalli line here at his Via Senato showroom today, which was followed by a press conference in which Cavalli explained his last-minute decision to cancel the Just Cavalli runway show.

As previously reported, Just Cavalli is licensed to Ittierre, which filed for bankruptcy protection nearly two weeks ago. When asked if the decision to cancel the show resulted from Ittierre's financial problems, Cavalli responded, "Of course." Although the brand experienced a 240 million euro turnover with the Just Cavalli brand approximately a year and a half ago, when Ittierre's financial situation was more stable, Cavalli described the decline in profits as "very great." This season, the sales campaign for Just Cavalli began on February 20 instead of January 15, which resulted in a serious loss of market share. Cavalli also cited delayed deliveries and a lack of communication with Ittierre management over a long period of time as serious issues. The result was a "tarnishing" of a brand that was likened to gold and one that is obviously very dear to his heart.

"I don't like to do 50 percent," he explained. "A show should make you feel. For me, a fashion show is my adrenaline, my future creation...everything. I tell you, telling you that I wasn't going to show was very difficult for me...Just Cavalli isn't my secondary line, it is my younger line."

Responding to a barrage of questions in Italian and English, Cavalli smoked cigarettes while confirming that many other producers are interested in the Just Cavalli license, although he couldn't confirm or deny any specific negotiations. "Unfortunately," he said, "Ittierre has the bags and shoes as well."

Meanwhile, the fate of this fall collection of Just Cavalli remains uncertain. Will it be produced? "I hope so with all my heart. It's not up to me. That is my problem. That is the reason; maybe, I want to take back my baby. I am very confused. I can't tell you. I am having my show Sunday. The name is strong, but I have to build it again with my young line. They are waiting for me." He then cited that at least in the short term, Just Cavalli may bring its production in-house if necessary. As for those companies in talks with Cavalli to take over the Just Cavalli license? "For sure, Italians."

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