Roberto Cavalli branches into hotel interior design with DAMAC deal

FILE PHOTO: Models walk at the Roberto Cavalli show during Milan Fashion Week Spring 2019 in Milan, Italy September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli has signed a partnership agreement with DAMAC Properties DAMAC.DU under which it will provide the interior design for at least five luxury hotels, starting with a first one to be built in Dubai by 2023.

The agreement, which follows a separate collaboration with DAMAC on Cavalli-branded villas, is part of the company’s bid to expand the luxury and fashion brand into lifestyle categories and find new sources of revenue for the Florentine label famous for its animal prints. Company officials declined to give financial details of the deal.

Roberto Cavalli is on track to break even this year and return to a net profit in 2019, Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said at an event to announce the hotel project on Monday .

He declined to comment on market speculation that Italian private equity group Clessidra, which bought 90 percent of Roberto Cavalli in 2015, might be looking to sell, other than saying that management was focused on executing a strategy agreed with the shareholder.

“The company is making big improvements, but to remain competitive, it needs to invest,” Ferraris said, adding Clessidra was fully supporting the company’s growth.

“The important thing is to ensure that the growth happens in an organic manner and quickly.”

Clessidra’s Managing Director Manuel Catalano said earlier this month the private equity group was working well with Ferraris, who is also former head of fashion house Versace, and had no intention of exiting Roberto Cavalli in the near term.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise