MILAN — Paul Surridge’s task at Roberto Cavalli is not a new one — revitalizing a storied company that has gone through a number of changes: a new owner, the departure of the founding designer and the exit of the latest creative director. Surridge admits he has a pragmatic attitude derived from his men’s wear experience, and he describes himself as an “underdog,” fully aware that this is his opportunity to shine as the new creative director of the Florence-based brand, which also marks his first time approaching women’s wear.Born in England and a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, Surridge was most recently creative consultant at Acne Studios, with responsibility for coordination of the men’s wear collections. Before that, he was creative director of Z Zegna from 2011 to 2014.Previously, Surridge was design director men at Jil Sander, reporting to then creative director Raf Simons. This is where he met Roberto Cavalli’s current chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris. Surridge honed his skills at Calvin Klein and Burberry, working with Christopher Bailey from 2003 to 2007.His work, he said, began with a question: “How does Roberto Cavalli’s glamour and sensuality fit in high fashion today?”In a preview of the collection bowing today, Surridge said he is expanding the brand’s daywear offer with a more “versatile wardrobe” and he is catering to “liberated women.” Their sensuality comes from toned muscles and an athletic body. “There is a shift from fashion into well-being,” said Surridge, who has been working on the collection for eight weeks — “a very intense eight weeks,” he conceded.Surridge is respectful of the past of the founding designer — he described “a positive meeting” with him — but is working to make his codes relevant today. This has led to an exploration of materials. “Roberto Cavalli was a pioneer in new leather and knitwear techniques,” said Surridge, but “fashion feeds on the new.”Surridge did focus on both leather and knitwear for spring, and also on “how things feel,” citing again that need for practicality and comfort.Roberto Cavalli is “undeniably” about animal prints, but Surridge opted for a graphic zebra print on a trenchcoat in a terra-cotta color. References to Tuscany and earthy hues such as sienna were key for the designer.Celebrating the company’s leather goods craftsmanship, he offered a pair of alligator jeans in a honey caramel color, with painted edges.A men’s dress shirt was reelaborated as a field jacket with a lizard collar and metallic rose-gold or copper details. The zebra print on a miniskirt in printed pony has a glossy quality and, worn with goat-hair babouches, has a youthful, modern edge. “Flats convey agility and speed,” he explained.Surridge did not forgo eveningwear and a black beaded silk knitwear gown that has “a liquid gloss effect” is a stunner. The designer distanced himself from those looks that were “laborious and heavy that make it difficult to sit down in. This has the maximum impact but it’s practical.” He said he also thought of Herb Ritts and his photos of models that were beautiful but also athletic and healthy looking. To wit, Surridge focused on the arms for several looks, with the upper part reminiscent of sports bras or yoga tops.The 36 looks are completed by bold accessories, such as walnut and ebony bracelets with geometric elements reminiscent of Tuscan nails of Florentine doors knocks, also seen on a bottle green pony and reptile handbag.Surridge gave a shout out to his team, which was already there when he arrived and who “went beyond the call of duty,” emphasizing the shared passion in writing the next chapter of the brand while “pushing the envelope.”
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.