Poor Roberto Cavalli. The "King of Bling" almost cried at a last-minute press conference held at his company's headquarters in Italy the other day discussing the fate of his younger Just Cavalli label. He decided this week to cancel the Just Cavalli runway show in favor of a small presentation for select editors, after only twenty outfits were delivered by production company Ittierre SpA, which went into bankruptcy earlier this month. “I can’t make a show with so few pieces. I don’t like to do 50 percent. For me, a fashion show is my adrenaline, my emotion. To decide not to show was, for me, very hard,” he told the Telegraph. He called the situation “a tarnishing of a brand, the breaking of a brand; a brand that was made of gold.”
That gold used to rake in 240 million euros in annual licensing revenue before things started going south 18 months ago. Ittierre has received a $30 million line of credit to help it maintain operations, but Cavalli said he doesn't know if his tarnished line will even be manufactured for next fall. "I am very confused," he lamented. He may take back the license himself or find other investors. However, Gianfranco Ferré, which Ittierre also produces, put on a show today in Milan. Did Just Cavalli just get the short end of the stick in the clothing factory?
Cavalli's main line, on the other hand, is not affected by the Just Cavalli mess. That show will go on as planned Sunday in Milan. The credit crunch may have shut down a show, but it cannot sap Milan of it shiny, animal-print splendor entirely.
Financial crunch bites as Milan Fashion Week opens [Telegraph U.K.]