It is going to be a long winter indeed for Roberto Cavalli, as the fashion designer’s namesake label is undergoing major shakeups right now. Roberto Cavalli is not only cutting down 200 jobs and moving its Milan offices to Florence, but its creative director Peter Dundas is stepping down from his position, too.
The sad news came yesterday morning, in conjunction with another one, namely that some of Roberto Cavalli’s stores are officially shutting in Milan. While Roberto Cavalli’s office reorganization and drastic staff cuts are due to a plan launched by Cavalli’s brand new CEO Giacomo Ferraris, Peter Dundas’ exit from Roberto Cavalli comes totally by surprise.
Roberto Cavalli was, in fact, acquired by a private firm, Clessidra S.p.A. last April, which quickly replaced former Chief Officer Executive Renato Semerari with Versace’s former CEO Ferraris. Ferraris, along with its firm’s headquarters, brought forward a strategy that could help increase Roberto Cavalli’s dropping sales.
“The fashion industry is facing uniquely challenging times, with changing consumer demands, significant contraction in various key markets and fundamental transformation in the industry’s dynamics,” explained CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris in an interview with WWD. “In this environment, only iconic brands with a coherent business model and an efficient organization can survive. After my initial examination of the company I believe the Cavalli brand has what it takes to succeed. But the reality is that the company’s costs must be in line with its revenues and that is the task we now have to embark upon.”
Although having worked as Roberto Cavalli’s creative director only for three seasons, Norwegian designer Peter Dundas has already left a signature, distinctive mark on the label’s proposals, which in return receive overall positive feedback.
“On behalf of Roberto Cavalli and our shareholders, we thank Peter Dundas for his contribution to the brand, and we wish him well for his future. As Roberto Cavalli goes through a period of transformation, the design team will carry on and the appointment of a new creative director will be made in due course,” continued Ferraris regarding Dundas’ departure.
Dundas’ partnership with Roberto Cavalli is, however, a longer history, as the Italian house’s now-former creative director worked with the Italian designer and his wife Eva from 2002 to 2005. He then headed to Pucci, now directed by Massimo Giorgetti, just to come back to Roberto Cavalli again. His very first Roberto Cavalli seasonal collection was unveiled to the public in Milan, in September 2015.
“I want to thank Roberto Cavalli and the group for this valuable experience and I wish them the best in their future endeavors,” stated Peter Dundas. “I am especially grateful to the ateliers and the teams who participated in this adventure.”
As for whoever is going to succeed and fill Dundas’ big shoes, Ferraris claimed the label is not in a hurry to find a successor, as they prefer finding a good marketing strategy and someone who is 100% into Cavalli’s legacy, first.
“This is a fashion company with a very clear DNA. We may go with a top designer along the model of Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi or promote an in-house designer like at Valentino or Gucci, but it may not be before September 2017,” he concluded.
Photo courtesy of @peter_dundas