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CAVALLI UNVEILED: Four years after penning his first rough draft, Roberto Cavalli will on Monday unveil his autobiography, called “Just Me!”

“I screwed everybody over — I have been an amazing actor,” Cavalli confessed to WWD. “With this book, people will discover a Roberto Cavalli that you don’t expect, because the recital is over, so I take the stage and introduce the real me.”

This story first appeared in the September 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Dropping his flamboyant mask, in the book Cavalli retraces the most significant moments of his life, starting from the tragic loss of his father, who was executed by German soldiers in 1944, when the designer was only three years old.

“This is not a book about fashion, it is about a boy from a modest family who achieved success thanks to his strong willpower,” Cavalli said. “I wrote this book very slowly. I wrote it for me and also to leave something to my children, to inspire them.”

According to Cavalli, the autobiography also acts as a motivational tool for younger generations. “The book features a dedication [to the most important women of his life, including his mother, her sister Lietta and his two wives, Silvanella and Eva], but actually I really want to dedicate this book to young people,” he said. Cavalli said that even if he doesn’t consider himself a designer, because he is not able to sketch, he found his way to succeed by developing a certain type of lifestyle brand. “I thought that young people need to understand how important it is to rely on themselves and their qualities.”

Cavalli also expressed frustration about the fashion world. “The fashion industry has changed a lot, and now it’s more important to do a beautiful advertising campaign than a pretty collection,” he said. “I feel a lot of resentment. I made the most of it, I found success, but I would like the fashion industry to go back to the past. I liked to make dresses, make women look beautiful and sexy. Today, I don’t have that amazing feeling anymore, because the fashion industry changed a lot. Journalists consider excellent people who are just copying what others have done before.”

Asked about retirement, Cavalli categorically ruled out the possibility. “How could I stop? Indeed, I could not stay away from the catwalk. When I go out, it’s such an emotion…and I look you all in the eyes,” he said with a laugh.