Roberto Cavalli Has Died at 83

Breaking news today. Roberto Cavalli (November 15, 1940 – April 12, 2024) has died at age 83. The «King of Bling», who has been synonymous with vibrant animal prints and sand-blasted denim, has died in his hometown Florence.

«Surround yourself with love, because love will be the beacon of your life.» – Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli launched his eponymous label in 1970 after his textile print studies and presented his first prêt-à-porter collection at age 30. He rose to fame extremely fast thanks to a revolutionary printing procedure on leather that he patented. He went on to open his first boutique in Saint-Tropez in 1972, and was soon after invited to present at the Sala Bianca in Florence.

With Roberto Cavalli in 2011.

Throughout his career, Roberto Cavalli created very sexy clothes in bright and bold colors. Animal prints were in his DNA as well as a very innovative approach to fabrics. He went on to introduce additional lines, including RC Menswear, Just Cavalli, which was marketed to a younger consumer, and a children’s collection. The brand also expanded into hospitality, opening its Cavalli Café in Florence in 2002, a concept it eventually brought to other cities, including Milan, Ibiza and Miami.

According to BoF, his company has faced a series of challenges in the last decade: In 2014, it began posting annual losses. In 2015, the Cavalli family sold 90 percent of the business to private equity firm Clessidra Capital Partners. In 2019, it closed its US stores and laid off 93 employees. It filed for bankruptcy in Italy in March 2019. The company went on to be acquired by Dubai-based real estate devloper Vision Investment Co. LLC later that same year.

With Fausto Puglisi in Café Cavalli in Milano in 2012.

The Cavalli collections are currently designed by Fausto Puglisi.

At the home of Roberto Cavalli were lots of animals.

Personally speaking, I met Roberto on several occasions and was invited to his house several times in Florence. He loved animals and was a very kind man who loved to host. RIP, Roberto, you will be missed and I feel privileged to have so many beautiful outfits from you in my closet.

In Roberto’s living room in his house in Florence.

If you are interested, I invite you to read an interview with him from 2011 here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli
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BVLGARI Appoints Mary Katrantzou

Congrats to my dear friend Mary Katrantzou, who announced today, that she will be the first ever Creative Director of BVLGARI Leather Goods and Accessories in the Roman high jeweller’s 140 year history. She will undertake the position alongside the continuing creative directorship of her eponymous brand.

With my dear Mary Katrantzou at the baptism of her son in Spetses.

«The rich cultural heritage and dual Greco-Roman roots of BVLGARI have played an integral part in my formation as a designer. I have always been inspired by the design codes and syncretism of BVLGARI, its mastery of colors and the depth of narrative. I’m deeply honored to be the first Creative Director of BVLGARI Leather Goods and Accessories, leading the creative vision for this new chapter and elevating everyday life into a form of art. I want to express my deepest gratitude to Mireia Montoya for introducing me to the world of BVLGARI and to Jean-Christophe Babin for his trust in me and welcoming me to the family.» – Mary Katrantzou

With Mireia Montoya who is wearing one of Mary’s first designs for BVLGARI, and Nicholas Kirkwood.

Mary’s first couture show

The first time Mary collaborated with BVLGARI was for her first couture show at the Temple of Poseidon for the Elpida charity in 2019, when BVLGARI loaned her their incredible heritage high jewelry pieces.

BVLGARI x Mary Katrantzou – Part 1

Part 2

She launched two special bag collections afterwards in collaboration with the Roman house.

Personally speaking, I remember it so vividly when Mary launched her amazing initial bag collection and we presented it during the UBS Economy of Fashion in London in 2017.

Bauknecht or BVLGARI – the B is the most important and obviously I had a good feeling of what is coming up already in 2017. Mary and I had many years ago a long dinner conversation about which brand she would love to design for. I think she made a match made in heaven with BVLGARI! I cannot wait to see the outcome of Mary’s amazing creativity.

There is something about Mary, that we all love! So many friends came to her show at the Temple of Poseidon to celebrate her!

Mary’s debut collection for BVLGARI will be in stores globally in August 2024.
Mary, I am so proud of you!

LoL Sandra

Photos: © Bvlgari / Mary Katrantzou / Sandra Bauknecht
#Bvlgari #MaryKatrantzou #SerpentiMetamorphosis #MaryKatrantzouxBvlgari #NataliaVodianova #NakedHeartFoundation
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Alessandro Michele Heads to Valentino

Breaking news before the weekend: Valentino has named former Gucci designer Alessandro Michele its creative director. Only a week after designer Pierpaolo Piccioli exited the Roman couture house after 25 years, including 8 years as its sole creative director.

The brand will not show menswear or haute couture in June. Michele’s first show for the brand will take place during Paris Fashion Week in September.

«I feel the immense joy and the huge responsibility to join a maison de couture that has the word ‘beauty’ carved on a collective story, made of distinctive elegance, refinement and extreme graceMichele said in a statement.

Gucci S/S 2016 designed by Alessandro Michele

Rumors were that Michele would head to LVMH, so the news come a little unexpected. Valentino is owned by Mayhoola, the fashion group backed by the Qatari royal family that also owns Balmain and Pal ZileriLast year, Kering acquired 30 percent of Valentino for €1.7 billion – implying a valuation worth of €5 billion – as part of a broader partnership with Mayhoola. The agreement gave Kering the option to acquire 100 percent of Valentino «no later than 2028». The former Gucci designer – a brand that also belongs to Kering – is a is known for its maximalist aesthetic that helped triple sales at the megabrand.

The designer will work once more with chief executive Jacopo Venturini, who previously led Gucci’s merchandising efforts alongside Michele and then-CEO Marco Bizzarri before joining Valentino.

«The reinterpretation of the maison’s couture codes and the heritage created by Mr. Valentino Garavani, combined with Alessandro’s extraordinary vision, will bring us moments of great emotion and will translate into irresistibly desirable objectsVenturini said.

Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault added in a statement: «With his creativity, culture and versatile talent, Alessandro Michele will be able to interpret masterfully the unique heritage of this magnificent house and make it flourish.»

Valentino S/S 2024 ad campaign

It is an interesting choice and I am really looking forward to seeing how Michele will interpret the House of Valentino, which stands for sophistication, femininity and great tailoring.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
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Pierpaolo Piccioli Is Exiting Valentino

Breaking news today. Pierpaolo Piccioli is parting ways with Valentino after eight ears as the Roman couture house’s sole creative director, according to a company statement which called the move a «joint decision

With Pierpaolo Picciolli and Maria Grazia Chiuri in 2013.

Piccioli started his career at Valentino in 1999 where he oversaw accessories alongside Maria Grazia Chiuri. In 2007, the duo were handpicked by founder Valentino Garavani to lead the brand’s creative direction after his retirement. In 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri left for Dior leaving Piccioli as the sole creative director. During his tenure, Piccioli’s haute couture collections rose to fame exuding a certain poetry, which is missing often in today’s fashion world. Outstanding proportions and bold colours were styled with a sophisticated, youthful edge, the same concept he applied to his beautiful ready-to-wear collections I have loved so much.

Beautiful memory: a handwritten note from Pierpaolo Picciolli and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

«Not all stories have a beginning or an end, some live a kind of eternal present that shines so bright that it won’t produce any shadows,» said Piccioli. «I’ve been in this company for 25 years, and for 25 years I’ve existed and I’ve lived with the people who have woven the weaves of this beautiful story.»

Spread your wings and fly like me in Valentino S/S 2020.

A new creative configuration will be announced soon, the statement said.

«I am grateful to Pierpaolo for his role as creative director and for his vision, commitment and creativity that have brought the Maison Valentino to what it stands for today,» said Valentino chief executive Jacopo Venturini.

For F/W 2022 Pierpaolo created its own color Pink PP.
For the full look, click here.

«We extend our deepest gratitude to Pierpaolo for writing an important chapter in the history of the Maison Valentino,» added Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Valentino chairman and chief executive of owner Qatari investment fund Mayhoola, which controls Valentino.

Last year, Kering acquired 30 percent of Valentino for €1.7 billion – implying a valuation worth of €5 billion – as part of a broader partnership with Mayhoola. The agreement gave Kering the option to acquire 100 percent of Valentino «no later than 2028».

Pierpaolo walking his last finale for Valentino F/W 2024 earlier in March.

In 2023, former Valentino ready-to-wear director Sabato De Sarno’s departed to lead the designs at Gucci. The fashion wheel is turning and some big names are still out there, such as Alessandro Michele and Sarah Burton. In addition Givenchy and Lanvin are all currently missing a designer and Dries van Noten also announced this week that he is stepping down from his own brand.

Piccioli presented a black on black manifesto for F/W 2024 in Paris this month – probably a sign of his departure …

Thank you, Pierpaolo, for all your magic!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and © Valentino
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Visiting Christian Louboutin’s Paris Atelier

Yesterday I had an amazing experience with Christian Louboutin, when I visited his small atelier, the famed L’Atelier Sur Mesure, on Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which is reserved for private customers and one-of-a-kind creations. It is located just a few doors from the first-ever Christian Louboutin store.

Most of the footwear is manufactured and produced at his factory in Milan, but here dreams come true as you can enjoy a made to measure service. This is haute couture for your feet. Here your measurements matter when you start a meticulous 8-step process to achieving the perfectly sculpted pair of shoes.

When you arrive at Christian Louboutin’s Paris Atelier, your Cinderella journey starts. Several key points of your feet will be measured. After that, precise, three-dimensional imprints are made by stepping into foam moulds.

You will have to choose which silhouette will be your base, for example the Kate or the Pigalle pumps, and you are then spoilt for choice, with the opportunity to customize your preferred silhouette, heel height, toe shape, desired material and other embellishments.

Three-dimensional foot casts are sculpted, that help the artisans to create the shoe’s first draft by hand in leather before other specialists sew and assemble the final product. This process takes months as these drafts undergo multiple reassessments and adjustments before reaching their final, impeccably finished state. Every shoe is ultimately approved by Christian Louboutin, himself and you as a client are allowed immense involvement in the entire process, through the sharing of ideas and expectation.

I personally experienced the craftsmanship to apply Swarovski crystals to the satin base of the shoe. It is such a difficult procedure and you appreciate the skills of the artisans even more.

Visiting the L’Atelier Sur Mesure was an incredible experience especially as I am obsessed with shoes.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
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Adrian Appiolaza Joins Moschino

Just nine days after officially becoming Moschino’s creative director, Italian fashion designer Davide Renne had died of an undisclosed sudden illness last fall. The Milan fashion scene was shaken.

This week, the House of Moschino announced the appointment of Adrian Appiolaza as the new Creative Director. He will make his debut with the F/W 2024 Women’s collection, which will be showcased on February 22nd at 6:00 PM CET at the Museo della Permanente during Milan Fashion Week.

Born in Argentina in 1972, he grew up in Buenos Aires where his grandmother owned a tailoring business that initiated his love for fashion. However, it was actually his love of music that made him move to Europe to be part of the Manchester music scene, rather than his affinity with fashion.

When he made the move to London in the early 90s, he studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins. He worked then at Alexander McQueen. However his career kicked off when Phoebe Philo invited hime to join her team at Chloé after noticing his graduate collection in 2002. From here, the designer worked under Miuccia Prada at Miu Miu from 2006, then headed to Louis Vuitton as senior designer for Marc Jacobs in 2010. A quick return to Chloé as Clare Waight Keller’s design director in 2012 saw him then move to Loewe in 2014, working closely with Jonathan Anderson as the brand’s ready-to-wear design director for a decade before starting his job at Moschino.

The designer is true fashion collector himself and his own personal collection contains rare pieces from Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Martin Margiela and Comme des Garçons to name just a few.

I think he is the perfect choice for Moschino.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Moschino and via Instagram @adrianappiolaza
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Chloé x Atelier Jolie

Chloé becomes the inaugural collaborator for Atelier Jolie with a ready-to-wear capsule collection celebrating femininity​ that you don’t want to miss. Minimalistic sustainable luxury at its best.

Co-designed by Chloé Creative Director Gabriela Hearst and Atelier Jolie founder Angelina Jolie, the capsule collection spotlights authentic women-to-women connections and honours both brands’ respective commitments to improving social and environmental sustainability with greater transparency and accountability. ​

Parts of the collection showcase the work of artisans from a Fair Trade enterprise while multiple looks make use of deadstock and lower-impact materials. Drawing on Chloé’s network of international makers and reinforced by its B Corp certification, coupled with Atelier Jolie’s comprehensive founding principles regarding ethical and sustainable practice, the capsule collection incorporates a higher percentage of lower-impact materials than any previous collection from the Maison. ​

Chloé x Atelier Jolie is defined by fluid silhouettes and tactile details. With an eveningwear focus, it has a timeless aesthetic inspired by perennial pieces from Angelina Jolie’s own well-loved wardrobe.​


LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Chloé x Atelier Jolie
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Party with NET-À-PORTER & Gianvito Rossi

Last night, I was invited by NET-À-PORTER for a wonderful cocktail party at Nikita in London with Gianvito Rossi, who had flown in from Italy for the occasion with his wife and his daughter Sofia, who both play key roles in the company, making the label a quintessential Italian family business.

With Alison Loehnis

In July, Richemont acquired a controlling stake in Gianvito RossiFounder, CEO and Creative Director of the eponymous brand, who retains a stake in the company and continues to nurture and develop the Maison in partnership. Founded in 2006 in San Mauro Pascoli and headquartered in Milan, the son of the legendary shoe designer Sergio Rossi, Gianvito has created one of the world’s leading luxury shoe houses. It is recognised by clients all over the world for its sophisticated designs, unique savoir-faire and impeccable quality.

With Gianvito Rossi

… and his wife and daughter Sofia.

This fall, Gianvito Rossi debuts his first handbag, called the Valì, a key new development that was beautifully displayed for the event. The design is very sleek, very much in the spirit of Gianvito, the perfect blend of haute artisanal finish, and sophisticated, modern luxury. Its form with rounded angles does indeed evoke an old suitcase, it is available in four colors – black, peach, off white and violet.

On display was also an amazing suitcase that is can be special ordered in your dedicated shoe size holding your most beloved Gianvito Rossi shoe models. I am obsessed.
Enjoy the impressions of the night.


LoL, Sandra

With Anthony Duong

With Sally Taylor

With Elena Radice and Iona Miller

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
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Mary Katrantzou x The Rug Company

Drawing inspiration from her signature archival prints, Mary Katrantzou has created a series of mesmerizing rugs in collaboration with The Rug Company. Discover the full collection offering a distinctive fusion of bold patterns and timeless sophistication to enhance any interior space. I am literally obsessed and Sunray Pink is my favorite.

LoL, Sandra

Sunray Pink

Sunray Nude


Feather Marble Maroon

Feather Marble Midnight

Botanical Paradise

Bluebell Daydream

Photos: © Mary Katrantzou / The Rug Company
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Moschino Announces New Creative Director

The House of Moschino appoints Davide Renne as the new Creative Director. In his role, Renne, who has designed women’s collections for two decades for Gucci, eventually as Head Designer of Womenswear, will oversee the women’s, men’s and accessories for the Moschino main line, reporting to Massimo Ferretti, Executive Chairman of Aeffe SpA.

Davide will officially assume the role of Creative Director at Moschino on November 1st, 2023. His first collection will debut for F/W 2024 during February’s 2024 Milan Fashion Week.

«Franco Moschino had a nickname for his design studio: la sala giochi – the playroom. This resonates deeply with me: what fashion – Italian fashion especially, and the House of Moschino most of all, can achieve with its enormous power, should be accomplished with a sense of play, of joy. A sense of discovery, and experimentation», says Davide Renne. «I am very conscious of the honor that Mr. Ferretti – a gentleman who has been almost fatherly in his ability to listen and establish a dialogue during our encounters – has bestowed upon me in taking charge of the House founded by one of fashion’s great minds. So thank you, Mr Ferretti for giving me the keys to your playroom. I can’t wait to begin – we’ll have fun. Together.»

As a huge Moschino lover, I am looking forward to seeing the first collection designed by Renne.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Moschino
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