Roberto Cavalli has finally announced a creative director to fill the hole left by Peter Dundas, who was ousted from his position last October.
Paul Surridge will step into the role as of today, and will be responsible for all of Cavalli’s brands and “creative functions.”
“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,” Surridge said of his appointment. “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, though not a household name, comes with quite a bit of creative and design pedigree, especially in menswear. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, he began working at Calvin Klein in the 1990s, before moving to Burberry under Christopher Bailey. He was then the men’s design director for Jil Sander under Raf Simons, before becoming the creative director of Z Zegna.
One thing you might notice about all of those brands is that they are aesthetically quite subdued compared to Cavalli, which is known for wild patterns and colors. When Peter Dundas took the job, he very much kept in line with the heritage of the house. The hiring of a designer like Surridge implies that Cavalli might be hoping to find some success in a fresh new look.
Surridge’s debut collection (Spring 2018) will show during Milan fashion week in September.