At mid-evening on Tuesday, a very tanned Italian man stood on the sidewalk at the corner of 63rd Street and Madison Avenue and surveyed his kingdom from behind a pair of aviator sunglasses with leopard print detailing.
“Oh, it looks good,” Roberto Cavalli said of his reopened boutique, throwing a hand wide to encompass the neon sign bearing his name and the sparkle of gowns in the windows. Evidence of Cavalli’s sartorial spirit was everywhere in the packed store — animal prints and fringed items, silks and satins and sequins abounded on the backs and legs and arms of the endless partygoers present, who wriggled together inside the glass box of a boutique.
Inside the store, China Machado, Russell Simmons and Melissa George were on hand to support both Cavalli and the evening’s cause, the oldest Hispanic charity in New York, Casita Maria, as were Hannah Bronfman, Fe Fendi and Alina Cho.
“I am a big supporter of these charities for women, for children,” explained Cavalli, who will be honored on Nov. 4 for his philanthropy and achievements in the world of fashion at Casita Maria’s Fiesta gala.
“We don’t have things like this in Italy,” he said. “You go and you see the difference that these charities make, it makes me happy to make a difference. They give children, adults, families education. They do after-school programs, art exhibitions and performances.”
What they do have in Italy is Caffé Giacosa, the café attached to the Roberto Cavalli Florence boutique, where some argue the best cappuccinos in the world are sold.
“Giacosa,” Cavalli laughed, “You have no idea — we perfected the art of that cappuccino. And it’s topped with a little chocolate ‘C.’ For Cavalli. It is perfect. I spent a very long time on it. You want one in New York? We’ll work on that for you. There’s no room here, you see, but who knows. I know how to make it, personally, of course. But we’ll work on a café here for you.”