Roberto Cavalli Opens a Restaurant: A Conversation With the Fashion Icon

New Yorkers are caught up in last minute frenzy of shopping and holiday plans. Christmas will bring a great silence to the streets, clubs, and restaurants as people spend time with their family and friends. Then, it’s a race to New Years Eve. It happens every year, and it will happen again this year and next as well. Flights are booked to warm exotic places as most choose to watch the ball drop on TV. Miami is one of the best places to say goodbye to last and hello to next.

One of the places that seems most intriguing is the New Year’s Eve is the opening of Roberto Cavalli’s restaurant Cavalli Miami Restaurant & Lounge (150 Ocean Drive.) The legendary fashion designer has gone all in creatively to bring us a place that reflects his perfected aesthetic. From the release:

The restaurant space is recreated to show his intimate private life, a very warm and welcoming design, reminiscent of his villa in Tuscany.

Cavalli Miami  features wine from Tenuta dgeli Dei an estate in Florence which has been owned by the Cavalli family for three decades. The estate produces great Tuscan wine as well as competitive trotter horses. It is mainly operated By Roberto’s son Tomasso. I caught up with Roberto Cavalli and asked him all about it. I left the original Italian translation in because I think it’s so sexy.

Is design universally applicable? If one can design a dress they can design a restaurant. For example a dress may be worn a few times but a restaurant must be durable and materials used need more permanence. Tell me about your experience as a restaurant designer.

Il design è applicabile a livello universale? Se una persona è capace di fare un abito, sono in grado di fare anche un ristorante. Per esempio, un abito può essere indossato più volte, ma in un ristorante i materiali usati devono essere durevoli. Raccontami della tua esperienza di stilista ristoratore.

Roberto Cavalli: Fashion and décor are undeniably intertwined in many different ways. Interior decorating and design expresses the most intimate and personal side of each of us. I love style and I believe it was only a natural passage for me to go from fashion to design, and especially to branch out into the hospitality division. It was simply a matter of timing and deciding how to share my inspirations. Cavalli is not only a fashion brand, it is a lifestyle. As a restaurant designer, there are so many materials, designs and aspects which have to be chosen during the design phases. For example I love to experiment, mix and match textiles and colors. I love to see what I can achieve and the new design limits I can surpass. As a restaurant designer I wanted to achieve and offer the experience imaginable: something unexpected which could not be forgotten.

How long have you wanted to express yourself in this way?
Da quanto tempo volevi esprimerti in questo modo?

RC: For a long time. But in this case, as in many others, timing is everything. Also, I am a true perfectionist. Therefore, I wanted everything to be flawless. There were so many things which had to be taken into consideration.

Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge Miami - Lounge

Will you be at this restaurant often. It is described to me to have a feeling like your home—will you be “home” often
Sarai spesso al ristorante? Hai detto che lo senti come casa tua, sarai a casa spesso quindi?

RC: I will definitely try to come back as often as I can. I love Miami and I love seeing my concepts develop into reality.

Did you get involved with staffing, uniforms and such details?
Sei stato coinvolto anche nella selezione dello staff, delle uniformi ed altri aspetti simili?

RC: I tried to be involved in every single aspect. As I said before, I am a perfectionist and I want to supervise and be a part of everything regarding my projects and my ventures!

So who will enjoy this restaurant?
Chi verrà in quest ristorante?

RC: All people who love to live well and who like to have an unforgettable time. Those who love glamour, elegance and want to be surrounded by love.

Miami has a vibrant nightlife scene which I’m sure the lounge will embrace. Do you have a feel whether or not the brand is exportable to places like Las Vegas or New York or Milan or Paris?
Miami ha un fortissimo spirito di nightlife, che sono certa il lounge sarà in grado di soddisfare. Credi il brand sia esportabile altrove in luoghi come Las Vegas, New York, Milano o Parigi?

RC: I personally think my brand is exportable anywhere in the world, and I actually I already have the Just Cavalli Club in Milan, which is one of the best in Italy. I have always been very successful in my business ventures and believe it will be that way still for many years to come.

Cavalli Miami - Restaurant

Your fashion brand has a great deal of caché. Fashion defines itself by the season—it grows and changes. How do you sit with the more permanent aspect of hospitality design. Is it enough that the menu changes?

Il tuo marchio di moda è molto importante e la moda si definisce stagione per stagione. Come riesci a coniugare l’aspetto più permanente del design nel settore dell’hospitality? E’ abbastanza che cambi solo il menu?

RC: Hospitality is a very tricky business. You need to know to develop a certain knowledge and expertise in order to be successful and to be a lasting establishment.

I see the opening is slated for NYE. Tell me about NYE, why open on that day?
Vedo che l’opening è prevista per Capodanno. Perchè hai deciso di aprire quel giorno

RC: NYE is such an important occasion to celebrate. It is the end of a year, which has just passed and the opportunity to share your joy with loved ones in the hopes of an even better year to come.

What are your personal favorite dishes?
Il tuo piatto preferito?
Salted fish—an incredible and very simple recipe.

Christmas Glittering background. Holiday abstract texture

For New Year’s Eve info Patrick Lingle at 786.236.0876 or via email at patrick@cavallimiami.com. 

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