By and  on June 21, 2007

FLORENCE — Roberto Cavalli has glammed up celebrities like Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna, and now he wants to make every woman feel like a Hollywood diva.

Cavalli is the latest designer to join forces with Hennes and Mauritz for a one-off collaboration. The 40-plus piece collection will launch Nov. 8 in about 200 H&M locations around the world.

The tie-up was revealed as H&M on Wednesday said store openings and trendy designs by pop icon Madonna lifted second-quarter profits 31 percent to 5.13 billion Swedish kronor, or $742 million. Sales for the three months through May 31 improved 18 percent to 20.05 billion kronor, or $2.9 billion, helped by the M by Madonna line that H&M launched in March. Pop chanteuse Kylie Minogue also bolstered sales by serving as the muse for the H&M Loves Kylie swimwear collection.

Nils Vinge, H&M head of investor relations, said both of the celebrity lines had a "meaningful impact" on sales, but were equally valuable for driving traffic into the stores and drawing media attention.

But the Swedish fast-fashion giant missed analysts' consensus expectations and said same-store sales in May dropped 2 percent. H&M shares lost 1.5 percent to close at 416 kronor, or $60.18, in trading on the Stockholm Bourse. Dollar figures for quarterly results are at the average exchange rate.

To unveil the deal with H&M, Cavalli summoned journalists to his sprawling Tuscan estate.

"Young people come up to me with these big eyes full of desire to wear a Cavalli dress and often they can't because of the price," Cavalli told WWD as his personal collection of parrots squawked in the background. "I dedicate this collection with Hennes and Mauritz to them, to give them the possibility to wear a Cavalli dress, whether it's for New Year's or another occasion and feel like they are on a red carpet."

Margareta van den Bosch, H&M's head of design, said she and Cavalli had spent the last two days on fittings and she's eager to see customers' reactions. H&M and Cavalli are planning a party to fete the collaboration sometime in the fall. The timing and location of the event are still being determined.

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