Roberto Cavalli bosses have closed all stores across North America as they embark on a major restructure.
The Italian fashion house, known for its exotic prints and sand-blasted jeans, has faced financial struggles in recent months, with executives confirming on Friday (29Mar19) that they were seeking to make a deal with creditors to keep the company going while they searched for an investor, though by Monday all eight stores and four outlets in the U.S., including boutiques in upscale locations in Beverly Hills and Manhattan, had been shuttered.
And on Monday, a Cavalli spokesperson announced that Art Fashion Corporation – the name of the brand’s U.S. subsidiary – would liquidate under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code by 4 April as part of a concerted attempt to save the business.
Approximately 93 employees have had their contracts terminated, while New York-based Salvatore Tramuto, the chief executive officer of the North American branch, has resigned.
According to editors at Business of Fashion, Art Fashion Corporation has operated at a loss for the past five years, with the company losing approximately $17.8 million (£13.6 million) in 2018, excluding a $13 million (£10 million) marketing budget.
Since 2015, Italian private equity fund Clessidra SGR has controlled Roberto Cavalli with a 90 per cent stake, along with other minor partners, including the Florentine designer himself.
Former Versace executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris was brought onboard in July 2016 to help turn around the company, and following the departure of creative director Peter Dundas, British designer Paul Surridge was employed as head designer in May 2017. However, Surridge confirmed plans to exit his post last week.
“I have given much consideration to this decision and reached the conclusion that the mission I have signed has changed and enters a new direction with a new perspective (sic),” he wrote on his Instagram page. “I now wish to focus on other projects that I put aside in order to achieve our common goals with Roberto Cavalli Group. It has been an honour to work for this iconic Florentine company with a unique heritage.”
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