Mass exodus of Roberto Cavalli employees at Florence HQ

More than 100 Roberto Cavalli employees at the fashion house’s headquarters in Florence, Italy have quit ahead of a planned move to Milan.More than 50 staff will relocate, but over half of the 170 workers have decided to walk away from their jobs, with…

More than 100 Roberto Cavalli employees at the fashion house’s headquarters in Florence, Italy have quit ahead of a planned move to Milan.

More than 50 staff will relocate, but over half of the 170 workers have decided to walk away from their jobs, with unions Femca Cisl and Filctem Cgil Firenze releasing a statement explaining why.

“The Florentine headquarters of the company will disappear, we are losing a huge professional and human patrimony, in addition to a resource for the territory,” a union representative said. “We remain worried about the industrial future of the brand – there are numerous suppliers in Tuscany – and the workers also appear to be concerned, since more than 100 have decided to quit rather than move to the Milan headquarters. The workers have fought as much as they could to convince the company to renounce closing the plant in Sesto Fiorentino, and we thank the local institutions that have been close to us.”

WWD reports that staff have agreed to a preliminary adhesion to a social plan. It will see them resign and be compensated with eight to 11 months of wages, depending on the length of their employment.

The move is expected to begin in September.

In April 2019, bosses closed all stores across North America as they embarked on a major restructure.

Italian designer Roberto Cavalli founded his eponymous label in 1970, and became known for his use of bold and bright animal prints.

Since 2015, Cavalli has owned only a small share of the company, with Dubai-based property developer Hussain Sajwani finalising a sale of the troubled brand in November, from Italian private equity fund Clessidra SGR.

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Roberto Cavalli acquired by Dubai-based property developer

Troubled fashion house Roberto Cavalli has been acquired by a Dubai-based property developer.Bosses at the Italian brand, known for its exotic prints and sand-blasted jeans, announced in late March that they were closing all stores across North America…

Troubled fashion house Roberto Cavalli has been acquired by a Dubai-based property developer.

Bosses at the Italian brand, known for its exotic prints and sand-blasted jeans, announced in late March that they were closing all stores across North America and were seeking to make a deal with creditors to keep the company going while they searched for an investor.

After months of speculation over who may take over the label, editors at WWD reported on Tuesday that executives at Vision Investment Co. LLC had signed a “binding agreement” with those at the Florence-based Roberto Cavalli to “acquire 100 per cent” of the company.

Vision Investment Co. is overseen by Hussain Sajwani, an Emirati billionaire property developer, who is the founder and chairman of real estate development company DAMAC Properties. Based in Dubai, the company provides residential, commercial and leisure properties and has presences across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, and the U.K.

As the deal is a complex one, with some aspects to be approved by a court in Milan, the fashion publication reported that lawyers for Cavalli need to make an agreement with creditors by early August, with the arrangement to be finalised the following month.

No financial details about the deal have been announced.

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 in March, and a successor has not yet been named.

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