From Naomi Campbell to Nancy Ajram and Kate Moss, Florence-based fashion designers have dressed the world’s stars and they don’t look set to stop any time soon.

Whether it be Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Guccio Gucci or Emilio Pucci, they are all being celebrated during the 60th anniversary of the Center of Florence for Italian Fashion.

These Italian powerhouses have been at the cutting edge of fashion design for years and their influence on the Middle East, as well as their inspiration from the region, is clear.

Roberto Cavalli

With his animal print-adorned pricey designs, Cavalli’s creations would not look out of place in what many see as the glamorous Gulf.


Cavalli brought his touch to Dubai in 2009 with the opening of the Cavalli nightclub, which welcomed a number of Arab and International celebrities including Ragheb Alama and Carmen Electra.

The Roberto Cavalli Group, which opened a new Cavalli Caffè in Beirut on January 2013, plans to continue its expansion in the Middle East with the upcoming openings of Cavalli Caffè in Kuwait City and Doha.

However, before being the king of the nightlife, Cavalli is a fashion guru with more than 25 stores across the Middle East.

“Cavalli understood what each market was looking for and brought his own touch to it,” fashion expert Rony Zeidan told Al Arabiya News.

Last week, the Italian designer was sharply criticized by the Islamic Sufi community as they accused Cavalli of copying their “sacred emblem” for branding the “Just Cavalli” line.

Cavalli opened his first store in St Tropez in 1972.