During a relatively restrained Milan Fashion Week, the flamboyant Roberto Cavalli was quite the man about town. He took his fall lineup in a darker, tough chic direction; he canceled his snappy Just Cavalli show due to production and delivery delays with licensor Ittierre SpA—telling an impromptu press conference that he wants to take the line back in-house— and hosted a dinner in a venue decorated with a zoo of animal prints, to launch the Cavalli credit card. (A month later, Cavalli would re-sign with Ittierre for a five-year Just Cavalli license.) Joining him were Elizabeth Hurley, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, CSI star Gary Dourdan and Milla Jovovich.

Cavalli also aroused the fashion pack’s curiosity when he stepped off the catwalk to hug Claudio Sposito, founder of Milan-based private equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA, with whom Cavalli is negotiating to sell 20 percent of his company.

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