Paul Surridge took the creative helm of Roberto Cavalli in May 2017, and since his appointment at the Florence-founded label, the designer has worked to reinforce the ostentatious brand’s Tuscan heritage. Take its new packaging, which has been updated with the name ‘Firenze’, or the location of Cavalli’s S/S 2019 menswear show at Pitti Uomo 94 last month, held high above Florence in an arched Carthusian monastery.
Now, in Surridge’s first retail redesign for the brand, the creative director has opened a sleek and luxurious 230 square m flagship in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district, inspired by Florence’s Renaissance architecture and the rich tones of Tuscany. Surridge worked with Milan-based interior firm Rodrigo Izquierdo Design Studio on the store concept, one which ‘simplifies the decoration and excess of Cavalli into a very disciplined environment; something super rich, hinting at classicism.’
This has translated into a streamlined space, rich in locally sourced Italian marble, gray durmast oak and hammered brass. The brand’s signature animal print outerwear and extravagant accessories are presented against graphic, circular motif marble marquetry floors in red and grey, and clothing rails lined with interwoven leather, inspired by the handrails of antique palazzos. Surridge also cites his own personal experiences exploring Florence in the years he worked in the city in the early 2000s as inspiration, fascinated by the ‘severity of Tuscan villas’.
Since his appointment at Cavalli, Surridge has bought a contemporaneity to the brand’s ostentatious aesthetic, like a S/S 2019 menswear offering packed with athletic tailoring, or an A/W 2018 women’s collection featuring comfort-focused column heels inspired by Murano glass, and ombré shirt dresses evoking the brand’s signature dégradé tones. His first store is equally forward thinking, rich in luxurious yet durable and classic materials. ‘They’ll really withstand time’ Surridge says. ‘And work into the experience of what Tuscany means to me.’