Roberto Cavalli Closes Stores, Prepares to Liquidate

Natasha Sholl By Natasha Sholl | 02 Apr 2019

Dramatic prints. Bold patterns. A dramatic exit. With US operations shutting up shop, what’s next for iconic fashion house Roberto Cavalli?

Iconic fashion house Roberto Cavalli closed its US stores last Friday and is now preparing to liquidate its operations in North America. It also announced plans to seek an agreement with creditors as it tries to buy time while searching for an investor.

A spokesperson for the brand has confirmed that Art Fashion Corp. (which operates the US operations for Roberto Cavalli) will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the US this week. Several high-ranking executives based in the US have resigned following the announcement.

It has been a turbulent few years for the luxury Italian fashion house. In 2015, private equity firm Clessidra SGR bought a 90 percent stake in the brand (valuing the business at €390 million) leaving Cavalli with the remaining 10 percent. Gian Giacomo Ferraris was brought in to attempt to relaunch the brand, yet just last October the company was looking for a minority investor when turnaround efforts had failed.

In a sign of what was to come, Paul Surridge, the British designer recruited by the Cavalli board in 2017 to rejuvenate the brand, confirmed he was leaving on 25 March. “I have given much consideration to this decision and reached the conclusion that the mission I have signed on has changed and enters a new direction with a new perspective,” he wrote on his Instagram account.

The company confirmed that it intended to file a plan with Italian courts to allow it to keep running while it secured new investors. E-commerce operations in the US were temporarily shut down with logistics operations needing to be rerouted through operations in Europe.

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