MILAN — Interior design is Roberto Cavalli’s latest siren call.
In addition to a towering building and private residences in Dubai, the designer is opening a Cavalli Club in that city in October. Both projects involve local partners.
This is only the first step, however, as the designer plans to restore and revamp his existing restaurant in Milan in the same style model and turn it into a Cavalli Club. Coming up next are clubs in Miami and London.
The residences in Dubai will be housed in an 80-story skyscraper — a building Cavalli also designed. A rendering of it towers in the designer’s Milanese apartment, next to his portrait by Julian Schnabel. “The project should be completed by 2010,” said Cavalli in an exclusive interview. “It’s amazing how quickly the skyline changes in that city.”
The designer confessed that his first love was architecture, not fashion, and said he now feels particularly drawn to it. The fact that his company has been opening a store a month over the past two years has also been a strong reason to focus on building and interior design. Cavalli and his wife, Eva, are creating special furniture pieces for their new seven-story, 23,769-square-foot Paris store on Rue Cambon slated to open this summer. Cavalli said furniture pieces exclusive to the store will be displayed as in a home, and will also be on sale.
In addition, the designer’s steel bar is one of the highlights of the Just Cavalli Café on the fourth floor of the new six-story Just Cavalli boutique opening in Paris on Feb. 26 — an event that will be followed by a dancing party at Le Crazy Horse.
For his clubs, Cavalli said he was thinking of joining “modern and Renaissance influences, the past and the future, and especially a Tuscan touch in the kitchen.”
Cavalli described the restaurant in the Dubai Club as “enormous, with special light effects.”
While the designer is still determining the details of the project, he said “a red carpet will be a must,” with pretty girls dressed in his designs welcoming guests. “Everything will be Cavalli, from the furniture down to the ice holder and the dishes,” he said.
This story first appeared in the February 20, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Ebullient as always, Cavalli confessed he was not worried about a possible recession, describing today’s economy as a “cyclical, historical movement,” and reiterating that an initial public offering of his company is in the cards within the next three years.
His more immediate plan? “Presenting a TV show in New York — it’s in the works.” Cavalli said he “loved” doing “Project Runway” with Tyra Banks during the opening of his Just Cavalli boutique last September and that the former model’s agent is in talks with him for a show of his own.