“RIP Legend”: Russell Wilson’s Wife Ciara Mourns Tragic Death of Legendary Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli

Published 04/13/2024, 11:48 AM EDT

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Russel Wilson’s wife Ciara joined several celebrities to mourn the passing away of renowned Italian fashion maestro Roberto Cavalli at the age of 83. Celebrated for his bold designs and flamboyant animal prints, Cavalli succumbed to prolonged illness at his home in Florence. Notably, Cavalli’s company designed the wedding dress for Ciara in 2016, which turned out to be too big for the chapel at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England.

Recalling the moment Ciara Wilson took to Instagram to mourn the loss of the iconic designer. She posted a picture of her in a white gown, with Cavalli holding one of her hands. She captioned the story, “Forever grateful for this moment. It was this night Mr Cavalli told me he wanted me to be in a @roberto_cavalli campaign and it happened shortly after. He was truly a genius and inspiration to so many of us and fashion! RIP Legend❤️. A beautiful legacy will live on forever in our hearts ❤️”

Sergio Azzolari, chief executive of the Roberto Cavalli company in an Instagram post said, “The Roberto Cavalli company shares condolences with Mr. Cavalli’s family. His legacy remains a constant source of inspiration.” A source of inspiration indeed he was, having been born to a mother who was a seamstress and a father who worked as a mining company’s surveyor in 1940.


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Cavalli enrolled at the Academy of Art in Florence to study art and architecture at the age of 17. Having gained some knowledge of designs and printmaking, he began selling his custom-designed clothing. In 1960, with the help of a friend he built his first factory but it was flooded away six years later.

In 1970, after impressing leather designer Mario Valentino at his party alongside Hermès, he set up a small shop called Limbo, 1970 in the French city of Saint-Tropez in 1972. He would continue to make a name in Europe until the 1990s, when he reinvented luxury denim, first with the sandblasted look and then by putting Lycra in jeans to make them fit snugger. When Naomi Campbell showcased this pair during a runway show in 1993, stretch jeans became a huge trend, and Cavalli had a big breakthrough. Still, it wasn’t until 1999, the first Roberto Cavalli boutique opened in the U.S.

Apart from the popularity of his animal print designs, he was also known for his hippie dresses, sand-blasted jeans, and patchwork designs on denim. In the U.S., his client base included the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian among others. Ciara Wilson was also one of those who was deeply influenced by the iconic designer. His company designed her wedding gown for her big day on July 7, 2016, with designer Peter Dundas saying that making her dress was a “labour of love.”

In addition to Ciara’s tribute, there was an outpouring of emotional messages from the likes of Victoria Beckham Hiedi Klum and legendary fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

“Forever an icon” tributes pour in from all over the world

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham took to social media to share her heartfelt sorrow upon hearing of Cavalli’s demise, posting a photograph that captured a tender moment of connection with him. In 2006, Victoria wore a Cavalli fluoro gown at a pre-FIFA World Cup party.“So sorry to hear the sad news of Roberto’s passing. He’ll forever be an icon,” she wrote on Instagram.

Supermodel Heidi Klum expressed her personal sense of loss with a simple yet profound statement, “I miss you, Roberto Cavalli,” accompanied by a red heart emoji. Klum wore Cavalli designs on a number of occasions including the MTV VMAs in 2016 and ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 9 post-show red carpet event in 2014.


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Giorgio Armani, whose own legendary status in fashion is unparalleled, paid homage to Cavalli’s artistic prowess and untamed creativity. Armani’s tribute acknowledged the stark contrast between their aesthetic philosophies while simultaneously celebrating Cavalli’s extraordinary ability to transform fantasy into desirable fashion.

American singer-actress Jennifer Hudson, also shared her memories with him, emphasizing his role as one of her favorite designers and lauding him for making the world a more beautiful place through his artistry.

At the 2013 Oscars, Hudson dazzled in a metallic blue, long-sleeved gown. More recently, she sported Cavalli’s oversize black leather and animal print long coat at the McDonald’s Corporation Worldwide Conference 2022.


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Brazilian model Adriana Lima’s tribute highlighted Cavalli’s fearless approach to design and life, acknowledging the void his departure has left in the hearts of those who knew him and those who were touched by his creative spirit. Like many others, Lima has also been associated with the Cavalli brand over the years.

In 2022, a pregnant Lima arrived at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a flowing Roberto Cavalli gown that featured a flowing green and black skirt, which included a sheer texture and leopard print, a Cavalli trademark.


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As the news of Cavalli’s passing was disseminated, the collective grief and respect for his contributions to fashion became evident. Cavalli’s creative genius and the life he lived—a testament to his dedication to beauty and innovation—will undoubtedly continue to inspire and influence the world of fashion for generations to come.


Written by:

Jakso James


One take at a time

Jakso James is an NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. Jakso’s analysis takes a reader around the league with a look at the player strategies and stats. An ardent football lover himself, he developed a strong connection with the Denver Broncos as he witnessed Russell Wilson break the barriers.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav