Fausto Puglisi Joins Roberto Cavalli | News & Analysis


Milan, ITALY — After more than a year of searching, Roberto Cavalli has found a new head designer.

The Italian brand known for its bold animal prints and flamboyant take on Italian glamour has appointed Fausto Puglisi to take its creative helm.

The Sicilian designer, who has created looks for superstars like Madonna, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, will hold the title of creative consultant. He will oversee all design functions, taking creative control of the main Roberto Cavalli line, as well as diffusion line Just Cavalli and kidswear line Roberto Cavalli Junior. His first collection will debut in January 2021.

Puglisi succeeds Paul Surridge, whose more muted take on the Cavalli woman failed to wow critics and consumers. Surridge exited his post as creative director last March.

The Florentine House founded by its namesake Roberto Cavalli in the early 1970s has suffered a tumultuous few years. It liquidated its US operations and filed for bankruptcy protection in Italy last spring.

The company was rescued by Dubai property tycoon Hussain Sajwani, who purchased the brand via his private investment firm Vision Investment Co. LLC in July.

The brand has also had a high turnover of creative talent since Cavalli himself relinquished his design duties in 2015. Peter Dundas exited the brand in 2017 after 19 months in the design role, while Surridge stayed for less than two years.

On the business side, CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris, the fashion executive tapped in 2016 to engineer the brand’s turnaround, will exit later this year.

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