Within 30 seconds of observing Roberto Cavalli, this much is clear: he doesn't just like women. He adores them. Whether making eye contact with his longtime wife, Eva, or greeting this reporter with a kiss on the hand, the Italian designer has an appreciation for all things feminine. And as he launches his new eponymous fragrance, it's no surprise that he has women on the mind. He's opened his showroom to talk about the scent, which is represented by model Elisa Sednaoui, a 24-year-old polyglot filmmaker who also happens to look stunning in a plunging Cavalli gown. (That's her above.)
Cavalli has already released a string of fragrances in the past decade, but this one, he says, is different. His first with Coty, it's a blend of pink peppercorn, orange flower, and roasted tonka beans. "It is a perfect perfume because it's not too much," he says, looking pleased with the result. "It's delicate, it's soft, it's very young." Young, but not too young — in the same way that Cavalli's animal-print gowns need to be worn with confidence, the fragrance has a certain sophistication that leans more womanly than girlish.
Cavalli has said that he designs clothes for women who want to be noticed, but he insists that attitude, not a "perfect" model physique, is the key to wearing one of his creations. "What does it mean to be a supermodel?" he asks. "To be tall and skinny? Absolutely not. Every woman is a supermodel. A supermodel is a woman who's feminine and strong. Many women are more beautiful than they think."
Roberto Cavalli, the fragrance, is available on April 1. Stockists: 1800 812 663.