By  on May 30, 2007

MILAN — The Roberto Cavalli brand is ready to conquer more territory under the management of a new chief executive officer, Cristiana Cavalli.

Cavalli, the designer's 40-year-old daughter, said in her first interview since her appointment earlier this year that she was looking to tap into the potential of the brand through a number of new licenses, such as a cosmetics line, a sports-technical clothing line and a home collection. There also are plans to list the firm on the stock market in the near future, although no date has been set.

Last year, SAB Capital, a private equity fund established in Saudi Arabia by Sheikh Salah Al-Belawi, submitted a bid for 60 percent of Cavalli, but an agreement was never reached.

"To grow and strengthen our business, an IPO would be more in line with our strategies, compared to selling part of the company to new partners," said Cavalli.

Her father concurred. "Absolutely, a listing is a likely possibility. The stock market would help us address some of our weaker areas," said the designer, noting he would like to expand the brand's product offering with a cosmetics line, for example.

"Color is what we are about, and I'd love to enter this business," said the designer, who last week was at the Cannes Film Festival, where he dressed Sharon Stone and Kelly Rowland, among other celebrities.

Cristiana Cavalli, who has been working for the brand in its legal office for more than nine years, said a home collection and a sports clothing line were high on the agenda.

"We are against stream. While many tend to bring their licenses in-house, we believe we can fully express the brand's essence with new agreements that will rely on a strong connection between the licensee and the maison," said Cavalli, the designer's first-born from his first marriage.

The Roberto Cavalli group reported sales of 150 million euros in 2006, or $201.8 million, and expects growth of 25 percent this year. The brand has licenses for watches and jewelry with Sector, now owned by Morellato; for eyewear with Marcolin, for fragrances with ITF, and for innerwear and swimwear with Albisetti.

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