Roberto Cavalli (born 15 November 1940) is an Italian fashion designer and inventor. He is known for exotic prints and for creating the sand-blasted look for jeans. He is also the founder of the high-end Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli which sells luxury clothing, perfume and leather accessories.
Roberto Cavalli was born in Florence, Tuscany. His grandfather, Giuseppe Rossi, was an artist and a member of the Macchiaioli Movement, whose work is exhibited in the Uffizi Gallery. Cavalli enrolled at the local Art Institute, concentrating in textile print. While still a student, he made a series of flower prints on knit that caught the attention of major Italian hosiery factories.
In the early 1970s, he invented and patented a printing procedure on leather, and started creating patchworks of different materials. He debuted these techniques in Paris, immediately getting commissions from the likes of Hermès and Pierre Cardin. At age 32, he presented his first namesake collection at the Salon for Prêt-à-Porter in Paris. He brought it to the catwalks of the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and later on those of Milano Collezioni, jeans made of printed denim, intarsia leathers, brocade, and wild prints. He then opened his first boutique in 1972 in Saint-Tropez.