Roberto Cavalli’s New Sneaker Resembles the Aerodynamics of a Cobra Head

On Tuesday, Roberto Cavalli creative director Paul Surridge unveiled a collection of 11 artisan-crafted footballs to be sold for charity as part of Pitti Uomo’s soccer themed exhibition, Fanatic Feelings.

Today, however, at his spring ’19 menswear show in Florence, Italy, he gave us a little something to kick them with. For this, his debut men’s collection, (Surridge joined the house in May last year) the British designer debuted a brand new sneaker.

Roberto Cavalli, mens, pitti uomo, spring 2019
Roberto Cavalli men’s spring ’19 runway.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock
Roberto Cavalli, mens, pitti uomo, spring 2019
Detail of Roberto Cavalli men’s spring ’19 shoes.

Totally Cavalli, albeit with a contemporary kick, the silhouette was based on the natural aerodynamics of a cobra head, he told FN backstage after the show. The soles were injection molded, with uppers ranging from sober monochromes to flashes of prism and, of course, animal and python prints. These matched both the accent motifs of the ready-to-wear and the graphics of those aforementioned soccer balls.

“I wanted the look to be chunky, solid and flash,” he said. “The python is 3D printed, so it’s not actually python but printed rubber.”

Roberto Cavalli, mens, pitti uomo, spring 2019
Roberto Cavalli men’s spring ’19 runway.

The collection itself was the essential constituents of a man’s wardrobe — accounting for all the basics such as chinos, shorts, parkas, trench coats and suits — its predominantly black and white palette punctuated by punchy graphics.

“I grew up in the ’90s so it’s a little bit Loaded, he said, referring to the seminal British men’s magazine of that decade. “This was a reload and a reboot; high octane, glamorous and high energy.”

Roberto Cavalli soccer balls for Fanatic Feelings
Roberto Cavalli soccer balls for Fanatic Feelings
CREDIT: Courtesy

“I wanted it to be not so much about clothing but more about attitude,” he said, “a nod to Cavalli’s flamboyant past but done in a new, contemporary way.”

The venue, the fourteenth century Certosa di Firenze, was an impossibly picturesque charterhouse, or Carthusian monastery, set on a hilltop overlooking the city. The show took place in its vast central courtyard which the house had completely carpeted in giant squares of crimson, slate gray and Yves Klein blue.

This symmetry underlined the reason behind the designer’s choice of setting, as “a place of status, order and discipline” with its attendant notion of “a higher being.” And while there was indeed a drone flying overhead to capture the livestream for the Cavalli website, he was referring to a rather higher plane of existence.




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