Inside Roberto Cavalli's Futuristic Renaissance

Inside Roberto Cavalli's Futuristic Renaissance

Paul Surridge's debut menswear collection reflected the past, present and future.

Paul Surridge's debut menswear collection reflected the past, present and future.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

When former Acne creative director Paul Surridge took the reigns of men’s and womenswear at Roberto Cavalli last fall, it portended a head-to-toe reinvention for the storied fashion house. Surridge’s tenure at Acne as creative menswear consultant was defined by utilitarian futurism—a stark contrast to the busy, animalier prints that once defined Cavalli. But at Surridge’s debut menswear collection yesterday during Pitti Uomo, the brand’s past, present and future were on display.

With the picturesque Florence Charthouse as its backdrop, the show kicked off with a contrastingly clinical series of white coats paired with sneakers. But as the show progressed, Surridge’s more playful bedside manner emerged; from snakeskin ensembles to neon tiger stripes, the collection revealed an array of remixed callbacks to the brand’s print-heavy past.

It was a fitting venue for a venerable brand’s rebirth. While it began as a trade show, Pitti Uomo has emerged as a breeding ground for experimentation and emergent brands—attracting a range of high-profile attendees, from Apple's Tim Cook to Lucky Blue Smith, both of whom were spotted at Cavalli. Florence was also the birthplace of the Roberto Cavalli brand in the 1970s—and, some say, Italian fashion in general, back in the 14th century. But as the Cavalli show proved, Florence is still just the place for an modern-day Italian Renaissance.

Roberto Cavalli Spring 2019 Menswear
Credits: Photos: Courtesy of Pitti Uomo

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