Roberto Cavalli must finally be serious about selling a stake in his company. He just signed a five-year deal to renew the Just Cavalli license with Ittierre SpA, which he said such nasty things about during Milan Fashion Week that Ittierre threatened legal action. He blamed Ittierre, which filed in February for the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Italy, for the delayed delivery and sub-par quality of his Just Cavalli line. But now Cavalli is passing that episode off as “just a bit of a fever” and “seasonal ills” and says the line will return to the runway for spring 2009. “Now [Just Cavalli] is very healthy and very strong,” he adds. “It will very much upset those who were hoping for the wors[t].” The contract will strengthen Cavalli's position in talks to sell a 20 percent stake in his company to an Italian private-equity firm. So perhaps he'll get the money he wants for it, despite the economy.
Just Cavalli is Ittierre's biggest license and generated revenues of about $329 million in 2007. The new contract will bolster Ittierre's financial standing, which is especially great, since they're bankrupt. It could also help safeguard Ittierre’s other licenses, including C’N’C Costume National, Galliano, VJC Versace, and Versace Sport.
The new contract cancels the $26.5 million in unpaid royalties that Cavalli said Ittierre owed him. It's also tremendous news for Ittierre's parent company IT Holding, which owns Gianfranco Ferré and Malo and went bankrupt itself at the end of February. So things are turning around for our bankrupt friends in Italy. And Just Cavalli has been saved! You may resume looking forward to many more pants like those pictured here coming to stores near you.