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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Emilio Cavallini, Legendary Hosiery Designer Our Coverage Sponsored by Paul Mayer Attitudes

Emilio Cavallini

Paul Mayer's luxuriously, comfortable designs keep women coming back for multiple -- even dozens -- of pairs. Classic, yet contemporary and always comfortable, his shoes are an addiction that we highly recommend. A staple of the Paul Mayer collection is the simple ballet-flat, with true ballerina construction for a perfect fit that comes in a variety of colors and materials. A cult favorite is the cozy, a flat with lavender-scent infused soles adding style and fragrance to collector's closets as Paul's designs emerge in sophisticated design incarnations season after season in the most incredible hues, textures and modern innovations in luxury footwear because we know firsthand how incredibly brilliant he is. Mayer founded the brand in 2004 with partner, Jeff Levy. All shoes in the line are manufactured in Spain’s Valencia region, along the Mediterranean coast by a skilled staff of 12 artisans. They craft each pair of shoes with an old-world attention to detail that includes in-house embroidery, quilting and stitching as well as custom tanned leather. This allows the brand to cater to each retailer’s specific demands in with timely and consistent alacrity, with orders completed in an unheard-of 3 to 5 weeks. When not in New York, Paul can be found traveling to his myriad of stores across the country meeting his loyal clientele or vacationing in his favorite spot, the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach.


In the fashion cosmos, segmented by market genres, professional typologies and target age group, characterized by an enormous variety of high fashion or ethnic trend offers, the one thing missing was precisely what Emilio Cavallini knew how to express so well with a genuine, original, strong, malleable, portable idea, accessible to most women. 

So who is Emilio Cavallini? A flamboyant Florentine, a mature youth, a bottomless well of intuition, a sensitive person, author of modern styles of wear, 

Emilio Cavallini was born in S.Miniato-Pisa in 1945. 

From 1964 to 1966 he attended College in Florence “Universita' di Firenze, Economia e Commercio”. He quit college because of this fascination with the world of fashion and went to  ‘swinging’ London. He met Mary Quant, and found his passion for hosiery. He began to dress women’s legs with patterned hosiery. He developed pantyhose with black/white patterns, dots, starts and skulls, stripes, animal and different kids of fishnets. He loved the fluorescent colors.

In 1970, he opened in San Miniato his own company, Stilnovo Spa. Besides Mary Quant he started producing for the most important brands such as Dior, Celine, Roberta da Camerino, Balenciaga, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and more. 

“Stilnovo S.p.A.” is situated in the hills between Florence and Pisa. Stilnovo specializes in the production of hosiery, vests and bodywear under the “Stilnovo” label (for department stores)and under his “emilio cavallini” signature for boutique and luxurious department stores. 

The style Emilio Cavallini is unmistakable: geometrics cuts, bright colors and always cutting edge ideas. His style emerged at the end of the seventies when tights became the reason of his success. Since then tights continue to be the inspiration and the starting point of the designer’s research for each new line.

In 1980, he launched his own brand of Emilio Cavallini hosiery. It was an immediate success; he started designing shoes, leather accessories, bathing suits and a full avante garde clothing line for young men and women. Licensees retail stores start to opened in Florence, Milan, Rome, Paris, Dussendorf, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He had a runway show in Paris with his line for men and in Milan for women. He became member for Milan Chambers of Commerce. In the eighties he believed that the time to look for new clothing forms was over and he started to develop clothing without seams on special seamless machines with large cylinders that were intended for hosiey. He subsequently launched the collection in New York and continues developing a large tight that covers the whole body.

The designer not only has an anti-traditionalist spirit but also uses the latest technologies. He has never stopped researching and looking for marketing strategies, with the goal of making a versatile product capable of fulfilling different needs in a single garments or accessories.

Emilio Cavallini has taken part in a series of events: beginning with Pitti Trend, to the ready to wear men’s fashion show in Paris, to womens’s collections in Milan in 1989, the year in which he became a member of the “Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana” (The National Chamber of Fashion). The collections of Emilio Cavallini have been presented in the most important international fashion fairs: Fashion Coterie in New York, Atmospere and Trend in Paris. 

Today, Stilnovo produces 4 million fashion tights per year and sells worldwide. Currently he is working on a building and archive with the patterns and techniques he developed in 40 years of design. He also nourishes his passion for current and ancient art. This passion leads him to build art pieces of various forms and dimensions using tights as if they were strings, he uses his mathematical knowledge to figure out the tensions of yarns. 

Through the years Emilio Cavallini has received many prizes and acknowledgments: 

In 1986 Italian President Francesco Cossiga made him “ Cavaliere del lavoro”; 

In 1989 Italian President Francesco Cossiga made him “Ufficiale”; 

In 1989 he won “ Leone d’oro”prize in Venice for fashion; 

In 1993 Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro made him “Commendatore”.

We are absolutely thrilled to present Emilio Cavallini as our latest Mover and Shaker.
Peachy Deegan and her legs interviewed Emilio for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: 
What is your first fashion memory?

Emilio Cavallini: Looking at my mother's legs and realizing that they were missing something to be wrapped up in. 

What does fashion mean to you?

A gathering of styles and behaviors affected by the the environment.

What was swinging London like in the 1960's and do you have any good stories for us?

It was a youth-oriented movement in which fashion was exploding into an environment of cultural revolution. 

What has it been like to work with such people as Mary Quant, 
Dior, Celine, Roberta da Camerino, Balenciaga, Gucci, and Alexander McQueen, and what did you like most about each and learn from each?
At the moment everything was happening very fast, all I can tell you is that I admire Mary Quant deeply.

How did you enhance each of their brands respectively?

I just give them the input that looked good with their style, I don't know if I enhanced them in any way though.

As we've had the coldest winter in quite awhile in Manhattan and we turn to tights, what should we be looking for and why?
Emilio Cavallini tights, of course. 

What are you most inspired by today?

Modern art in general, young artists are very thrilling to follow and I like to see them grow in the art world.

What have you learned most about the world of fashion in the last 4 decades?

It spreads in all directions through all ethnic groups and styles of living and doesn't have any limitations. 

What do you like most about fashion today and what have you liked most about it in the past?

In the past fashion was being created now everything is a copy of the past. 

Will your daughter Lisa become the next designer of your brand and how do you involve your family in your creative and business endeavors?

We will always be working together as a family. All of us will always take care of the designs.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?

My very high ambitions. 

What are you proudest of and why?

I'm proudest of the fact that in a moment of struggle I managed to build an empire that I dreamed of. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?

Become a cook.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession and can you explain the context of the Italian awards for our American readers please?

I am proudest of the Leone D'oro for fashion given to me in Venice in 1989. It is basically one of the highest awards in fashion. 

What one word best describes you and why?
Eccentric, I always want to go a different route, my route. 

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?

I'd hire 3.1 Philip Lim I think he's a great designer 

What is your favorite drink?

The wine we cultivate in our country house.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?

I wouldn't go to one, I don't like cocktail parties.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?

The Nomad

Who would you like to be for a day and why?

No one particularly.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?

The Guggenheim museum I think it's a great structure architecturally speaking.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Never had one.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?

Watching many interesting art galleries in one day without ever getting bored.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
I've had so many art experiences I wouldn't know which one to choose.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?

Nothing in particular, but you've given me compliments on my children!

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?

Marc Jacobs is overrated.

Have you tried The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 

Not yet!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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