Paul Surridge was appointed Roberto Cavalli’s creative director in May 2017; he had just a handful of weeks to work on the Spring collection, which was presented during Milan Fashion Week in September. The house has a glorious past, but it comes with some extra baggage, so to speak. Recent seasons have seen a fair amount of turbulence, both on the style direction and on the business bottom line. Surridge was asked to come up with a detox regimen and to shape a healthier, slimmer future for a label whose personality has always been over the top and glamazonic to a fault.
Surridge is a seasoned pro; he has embraced the not-so-easy task with British aplomb, and with a firm belief in teamwork. “The future will be all about a spirit of collaboration,” he mused during the Pre-Fall presentation. “No-one can make it alone.” Especially when you have to mine such a vast body of work and such a specific lifestyle. “Cavalli was born on sportswear, daywear, knitwear, denim, not just on hyper-glamorous occasion dressing. Now we need to create a deeper reach for a global community of women with different needs, ages, body types, professions, or geographic locations; we have to align with consumers’ changes and with the millennium’s mind-set, not millennials! And not looking obsessively into archives and history, but focus more on storytelling,” he explained.