Luxury fashion house Roberto Cavalli has announced that British designer Paul Surridge will now lead the Italian brand as it’s new creative director. Surridge will be replacing the role of Peter Dundas, who left the label in October 2016. Previous to Roberto Cavalli, Surridge’s resume encompassed fashion experience from being creative consultant of Acne Studios, working under brands like Jil Sander, Burberry, and Calvin Klein, and being creative director of Z Zegna from 2011-2014. Surridge’s first womenswear collection for Roberto Cavalli will debut in Milan with upcoming September.
Roberto Cavalli CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris told Business of Fashion in a statement: “We met a lot of candidates, a lot of them showed great creative potential, which made the decision not easy, but the [reason] we selected Paul is that next to his distinctive creative quality, he shows a strong interest in further developing the code of the house.”
Surridge said in a statement: “I am honored and proud to carry forward the legacy of this extraordinary Italian house. This is a unique opportunity to contribute a new chapter to the Roberto Cavalli universe, which positively celebrates the beauty, sensuality, and power of women,” he continued. “It is my intention to show the passion I share for the codes and vision on which Roberto Cavalli built his brand while celebrating the excellence of Italian craftsmanship.”
Surridge up taking creative director of Roberto Cavalli is significant since the label’s major overhaul from October 2016 and their steps taken afterwards to reorganize the brand. In October last year, Ferraris initiated a company-wide reorganization after the exit of the previous creative director Peter Dundas. This reorganization of the brand resulted in the closure of Roberto Cavalli’s Milan offices, moving all operations to Florence. It also resulted in the elimination of 200 of its 672 positions. Ferraris’s ultimate goal is to return the company to operating profitability in 2018.
Cavalli CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris said at the time, “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.” And the lag between Dundas’s exit and Surridge’s arrival was an intentional one, said Ferraris. “I made sure that the creative director would not enter until the restructure was behind us. It’s fundamental that the restructuring for him is not a problem. It will be a green field for him and the perfect time to start at such an iconic international brand.”
The brand’s comeback after their reorganization is Surridge’s highly anticipated upcoming fashion show for Roberto Cavalli’s Womenswear Spring 2018 collection, which is to be set in Milan.