Roberto Cavalli

439. Music and adrenaline were our drugs…

rc-350x350439. Music and adrenaline were our drugs…

Late in the 1950s, there were no discos. Young people would meet on a Saturday afternoon or at a birthday party at somebody’s place.

There came the idea of renting a place on a Saturday afternoon to give all the students the possibility of getting together, getting to know one another and making whoopee without being scolded by the parents who had allowed the party in their house.

I got in touch with the owner of a club, “Chalet I Tigli”, which was only open at night. Mr Boni was impressed by my initiative and he said he was available to make my dream come true! Another stroke of luck! Riccardo knew how much the young people loved the world of music and what we had to give them. We agreed he would be responsible for the band and I would take care of the rest. The hours were from 3.30 pm to 8.00 pm. Entrance fee, including a drink: 150 liras!

I would look for clients in Florence’s schools. In a short time, I had already put together a group of sixty students from different schools who sold tickets and kept a part of the profits for themselves. I was young and I still didn’t have a driving licence. We drove around Florence In a FIAT 500 car owned by some older boys and through a loudspeaker shouted things like “GIANREPARI JUST BACK FROM THEIR AMERICAN TOUR…” or something else, just to attract new people.

Every Saturday I invented a new event, especially competitions to get everybody involved. Rock and roll, hula-hoop and many others. I spent half of the time at the entrance greeting guests as they arrived as good host should. That way, I could also count how many people joined us and, since I knew our costs, I knew that after a certain number of guests it was all profit! I eventually breathed a sigh of relief and joined the others. I liked dancing a lot, especially Rock and Roll.

I had a friend who became my dancing-partner and we would dance like professionals, heads up, legs down! Everybody stopped dancing and gathered around us clapping: I loved being admired! It thrilled me!

It was marvellous seeing young people having fun without using drugs or alcoholic drinks…

Music and adrenaline were our drugs!


Roberto Cavalli Blog


438. November 4, 1966

1966 - l'alluvione di Firenze438. November 4, 1966

It is November 4th, but the year is 1966, 50 years ago.
The Arno river that usually flows quietly through Florence, has suddenly turned into an avalanche of mud and water flooding the streets of Florence, submerging, destroying everything in its path, threatening the very lives of the Florentines and their immense artistic heritage. We watched in disbelief as the water level kept rising metre by metre until it reached a depth of four meters.

It was 6:30 am on a Friday. I went early in the morning to my factory in Osmannoro as I was expecting a client to collect some pullovers that I had printed for him.

I handed him the goods and after a coffee he left for Bologna. A few minutes later he was back barefoot, his shoes in his hand. “We are surrounded by water… all the roads are blocked…” the sound of his voice in his distinctive Bolognese accent reaffirmed his alarm and added to ours.

We quickly moved the fabrics, the colours and anything else we could to to higher shelves. Then, together with my co-workers we tried to find a safer place.

The factory was flooded up to the roof. The colours we used in printing the fabrics ran in surreal patterns across the surface of the flood. Everything was destroyed. I had to start from scratch.

The next day the waters began to recede, leaving a devastated Florence in their wake. The landscape was transformed. Mud, coloured with slime, covered everything touched by the flood. Cars were stacked one upon another. There was debris of every description that the waters, in their fury, had carried along with them. But we had no drinking water, no electricity.

I wish to thank all those young people who, out of the kindness of their hearts, came to Florence from all over the world to help us out. It is thanks to them that the great artistic heritage of Florence was saved and restored. They seemed not to feel fatigue and always had a smile for everyone. We called them “The Mud Angels”

In one month my factory reopened! Work resumed in full swing. All the old clients were back and new clients arrived.  Enthusiasm was high!


Roberto Cavalli Blog

Roberto Cavalli - Firenze 4/11/1966

Roberto Cavalli - Firenze 4/11/1966

437. Modern Times…

rc-cavalli-island437. Modern Times…

Browsing through your images and comments on Instagram I realize that there are 450.000 of you following me!  This to me is a great honour!  I enjoy reading your comments… finding out from where in the world you are writing.

This is a wonderful way for all of us to stay in touch with one another and share our different perspectives.  This is how we grow…

Many of you have grown up in the digital age and, although young, the Internet has already become an integral part of our daily lives.

I embrace technology, I like to surround myself with technological toys, playing with them as they morph into tools.   I want to be always up-to-date with the latest model,  the latest version.   I was one of the first to use digital photography, playing with Photoshop, creating patterns and combining the colours and hues of an expanding spectrum to create those designs that I later used in my prints.

I remember when the first portable DVD player with a built-in screen came out on the market… suddenly my endless flights became pleasant interludes during which I could watch those movies that the hectic pace of my work would otherwise not let me see.

I grew up in the analog era… the cameras had the ability to shoot only 36 pictures and then I had to change the camera roll and to see the results I had to develop the film!

I like technology… it makes our daily life easier…  one click is all it takes to connect with friends on the other side of the globe!

The Internet has definitely changed the lives of many of us, accelerating the processes that each of us had to follow to implement an idea, to create and share, to learn…

Using the Internet allows me to share with you my thoughts, my feelings… it allows a meeting of our creative minds… and all of this is fantastic!

Write and let me know how the Internet is changing your life…

Gotta go, I am being called for dinner…

Thanks for your friendship…

Roberto Cavalli Blog