of all the italian houses known for their glamazonian legacies, few are as bold as roberto cavalli. Which is why the choice of englishman paul surridge as the new creative director came as such a surprise. surridge is a central saint martins graduate with an extensive cv, including stints at the menswear divisions of calvin klein (when the founder was still at the helm), burberry, jil sander and z zegna. the cavalli gig is his first move into womenswear. ‘menswear is more in the smaller details and the function, whereas womenswear is in the occasion and more of an emotional approach,’ he says. ‘i like to think that my men’s background has enabled me to work deeper in the cut, finish and construction.’
surridge’s cavalli borrows menswear’s mathematical precision and obsession with details, without forgetting the sexiness that defined the florentine brand in the first place. surridge walks a thin line between heritage and renewal, but then again, he is a man who enjoys a challenge, ‘and ultimately, it’s roberto cavalli’s core values of beauty and quality that inspired me’.
his first collection still boasts the cavalli essentials – zebra prints, fur, and revealing cut-outs – but these are combined with laser-sharp tailoring and a touch of androgyny, making them more accessible and current. ‘i’m dedicated to continuing to evolve a modern approach to sensuality while revisiting some of the central icons of the maison,’ explains surridge.
surridge (above) has carefully updated roberto cavalli’s trademark zebra print, Which now appears on a perfectly cut coat