A PUBLISHING INNOVATOR, FAIRCHILD’S CAVALLINI DIES

Byline: Samantha Conti / With contributions from Lisa Lockwood

MILAN — Rosi Cavallini, a Fairchild Publications veteran and the architect of the WWD and W businesses in Italy, died here late last week after a long illness.
As group publisher for Italy, Cavallini was known and respected for her innovative ideas and razor-sharp business acumen. A warm, open person who was never afraid to speak her mind, Cavallini was passionate about her work, her family and the Tuscan countryside where she ran a resort and olive oil company with her husband, Roberto.
“There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do,” said Stephanie George, president of WWD Media Worldwide. “She was capable of handling it all. Rosi was the general.”
George said Cavallini was instrumental in creating the new W, which was redesigned from a broadsheet and relaunched in its current format in 1993.
“When we were changing the old W to the new W, Italy was such an integral part of what we were doing. She was responsible for much of the success of W.”
John Fairchild, WWD and W’s editor at large, considered Cavallini Italian fashion royalty.
“In a certain sense, she was the fashion queen of Italy. She knew everyone, and believed so much in the Italian fashion business. When she convinced someone to advertise, they went all the way. She was probably the most outstanding sales person I have ever met — that combination of Italian charm and persuasiveness was unbeatable.”
Cavallini, the founder and owner of Studio Cavallini, worked for Fairchild for nearly 15 years. She first met John Fairchild, who was then chairman of the company, through Beppe Modenese, the spokesman for Italy’s National Chamber of Fashion and a driving force behind the industry in those early years. At the time, Cavallini was working for Neiman Marcus in Italy.
Over the years, Cavallini forged tight relationships with designers including Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferre, Mariuccia Mandelli and the Missoni family.
“Of all the Italian designers she dealt with, her favorite was Giorgio Armani. She was madly in love with him,” said George. Cavallini had a long — and fruitful — relationship with the designer, working with him to create special supplements for the magazine.
“Rosi was a pioneer, an example that others followed. Her enthusiasm and energy for her work was boundless,” said Armani. “Above all, she was a friend. We will miss her greatly.”
Ferre referred to her as a personal and professional powerhouse.
“For us, losing Rosi means losing her vitality, energy and enthusiasm,” Ferre said. “She naturally applied those very human qualities to her work, and it was those qualities that contributed to the success and prestige of WWD and W in Italy. We will all miss her, and we all owe her thanks for the extraordinary job she’s done.”
Oscar Micucci, the head of public relations at Tod’s SpA, said Cavallini was “The best person to represent Fairchild in Italy. She was a paragon of Italian good taste and so serious about her job. Professionally, she was a fighter and on a personal level she was sensitive and very human.”
During her career, Cavallini broadened her beat to include more than just the Italian designers. At the beginning of the Nineties, she began working closely with the Italian Trade Commission, which sponsored special supplements about fashion or Italian lifestyle in W and WWD.
“She was brilliant at selling the ideas that we would conceive together,” said Sergio La Verghetta of the ITC in New York. “She was aware that there was a whole other Italy out there: an Italy that was about smaller designers, companies and regions. She had ideas and good taste and because she was such a good business person, everything else would eventually click into place. She packaged the ideas in a perfect way.”
In 1979, in the early part of her career, Cavallini put together and promoted a Who’s Who book about Italian fashion known as “Mass Moda.” Earlier this year, she applied the same idea to Fairchild, conceiving a special Italian supplement called WWD Italy: The Fashion Makers, about the history and evolution of Italian fashion.
When she wasn’t selling her pages and supplements, Cavallini was running Il Borghetto, her farm, resort and country home in the Chianti region outside Florence. Cavallini is survived by her husband, Roberto, and their two children, Ilaria and Antonio.
Cavallini, the founder and owner of Studio Cavallini, worked for Fairchild for nearly 15 years. She first met John Fairchild, who was then chairman of the company, through Beppe Modenese, the spokesman for Italy’s National Chamber of Fashion and a driving force behind the industry in those early years. At the time, Cavallini was working for Neiman Marcus in Italy.
Over the years, Cavallini forged tight relationships with designers including Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferre, Mariuccia Mandelli and the Missoni family.
“Of all the Italian designers she dealt with, her favorite was Giorgio Armani. She was madly in love with him,” said George. Cavallini had a long — and fruitful — relationship with the designer, working with him to create special supplements for the magazine.
“Rosi was a pioneer, an example that others followed. Her enthusiasm and energy for her work was boundless,” said Armani. “Above all, she was a friend. We will miss her greatly.”
Ferre referred to her as a personal and professional powerhouse.
“For us, losing Rosi means losing her vitality, energy and enthusiasm,” Ferre said. “She naturally applied those very human qualities to her work, and it was those qualities that contributed to the success and prestige of WWD and W in Italy. We will all miss her, and we all owe her thanks for the extraordinary job she’s done.”
Oscar Micucci, the head of public relations at Tod’s SpA, said Cavallini was “The best person to represent Fairchild in Italy. She was a paragon of Italian good taste and so serious about her job. Professionally, she was a fighter and on a personal level she was sensitive and very human.”
During her career, Cavallini broadened her beat to include more than just the Italian designers. At the beginning of the Nineties, she began working closely with the Italian Trade Commission, which sponsored special supplements about fashion or Italian lifestyle in W and WWD.
“She was brilliant at selling the ideas that we would conceive together,” said Sergio La Verghetta of the ITC in New York. “She was aware that there was a whole other Italy out there: an Italy that was about smaller designers, companies and regions. She had ideas and good taste and because she was such a good business person, everything else would eventually click into place. She packaged the ideas in a perfect way.”
In 1979, in the early part of her career, Cavallini put together and promoted a Who’s Who book about Italian fashion known as “Mass Moda.” Earlier this year, she applied the same idea to Fairchild, conceiving a special Italian supplement called WWD Italy: The Fashion Makers, about the history and evolution of Italian fashion.
When she wasn’t selling her pages and supplements, Cavallini was running Il Borghetto, her farm, resort and country home in the Chianti region outside Florence. Cavallini is survived by her husband, Roberto, and their two children, Ilaria and Antonio.

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