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Roberto Cavalli’s fashion inspiration

Roberto Cavalli became a fashion designer after “making love” to a pretty model. The Italian style legend admits his first ever runway show was “terrible” because he was preoccupied with one of his female catwalk stars.

Discussing his first show in Paris, France, in 1970, he said: “It was terrible. It wasn’t designing. I chose a pretty shy model and, of course, I make love with her. That was why I start to be in fashion.”

Roberto decided to turn to art, and then fashion, after being urged by his mother to make up his mind on what career path to follow.

He said: “When I was 18, my mother said, ‘Roberto, you should go look for a job.’ I decided art was the only thing I would maybe like.

“I wanted a sports car and to enjoy life. I knew the more sweaters I printed, the more money I’d make.”

Roberto got his big break in the industry after discovering a unique six-colour technique for printing on leather.

He added to Marie Claire magazine: “I showed people at Hermes in Paris. They wanted exclusivity on my idea. I thought, ‘If my idea is revolutionary, I should get to know the fashion world. I didn’t know anything about fashion, but thought it could be fun.”

The 69-year-old designer’s outfits grew in fame in the 70s, when actress Bridget Bardot took a shine to his collections.

He added: “It was the time of beautiful stars like Bridget Bardot. I am proud I was there – with my Ferrari and my boat! She was an icon to me but I was shy. When she came into my store, my heart went boom, boom, boom. Today, I’d be different. I’d jump on her. I’m joking!”

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