Roberto Cavalli creative director Peter Dundas quits, as 200 jobs to go

Struggling Italian high-end label’s chief executive says fashion industry ‘facing uniquely challenging times’ with ‘significant contraction in key markets’; no news on Dundas’ replacement

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 October, 2016, 11:53am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 October, 2016, 11:53am

Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli’s creative director, Peter Dundas, has stepped down after just three seasons in the job as the label slashed 200 jobs.

The spring/summer 2017 collection, presented during Milan Fashion Week in September, was the Norwegian designer’s last for the high-end brand.

His replacement at the Florence-based company has not yet been named.

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Chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said the house was undergoing “a period of transformation”, and in a separate statement outlined a reorganisation of the company due to begin shortly.

“The fashion industry is facing uniquely challenging times”, he said, citing “changing consumer demands, significant contraction in various key markets, and fundamental transformation in the industry’s dynamics”.

“In this environment, only iconic brands with a coherent business model and an efficient organisation can survive.”

Ferraris, a former Versace chief named as the new Roberto Cavalli chief executive in July in a bid to relaunch the struggling house, said he believed “the Cavalli brand has what it takes to succeed. But the reality is that the company’s costs must be in line with its revenues and that is the task we now have to embark upon.”

The reorganisation will see the company’s Milan corporate and design offices closed and their functions transferred to Florence, some of the brand’s stores shut and others relocated and 200 jobs slashed.

The fashion house, taken over in April 2015 by Italian private equity group Clessidra Capital Partners, had Dundas at the helm for just over a year-and-a-half.

The designer, who spent seven years as artistic director of Pucci, a subsidiary of LVMH, had been seen as a good fit for his love of sexy, rock-inspired designs and penchant for animal prints.