Home - T Singapore

Roberto Cavalli Names a New Creative Director

By Elizabeth Paton

Valerio MezzanottiThe Roberto Cavalli spring 2017 collection show in Milan.

Another week, another round of designer musical chairs.

Seven months after the departure of Peter Dundas from Roberto Cavalli after just three seasons, the Italian fashion house has appointed Paul Surridge as its new creative director.

In a statement Wednesday, the business, based in Florence, said that Surridge, who had previously worked at Burberry, Calvin Klein and Jil Sander, would head all of the group’s lines and make his debut at Milan Fashion Week in September with his spring 2018 collection. The appointment is effective immediately.

An alumni of Central Saint Martins, Surridge, who is British, most recently worked as creative director for Z Zegna from 2011 to 2014 and was a creative consultant to Swedish fashion house Acne Studios.

The hiring comes in the midst of a high-stakes turnaround effort for Roberto Cavalli. The brand known for its colourful bohemian prints and celebrity following appeared to have fallen from favour with its fan base in recent years.

In 2015, it was bought by the private equity house Clessidra with the intention of a creative and commercial overhaul. Chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris has spearheaded a series of reorganizational moves, including cutting staff by nearly a third, shuttering stores, closing its Milan office and parting ways with Dundas. So far, efforts to return to profitability by 2018 have not borne fruit: Last month, the company reported that revenue fell 13.6 percent to 155 million euros (US$169 million) in 2016, with a net loss of 55 million euros.

In a statement from Ferraris, Surridge was described as “passionate, mature and an amazing team player, who has a 360-degree vision on brands and branding.”

Surridge added that he was “honoured and proud to carry forward the legacy of this extraordinary Italian house.”