Wine is becoming part of high fashion with Catwalk giants creating their own vintages. The Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli who is designing costumes for the Spice Girls Anniversary tour is giving his name to a new range of wine. The 66 year old Italian designer has dressed celebrities including Beyonce, Sophie Dahl, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez at events including awards ceremonies. He is a favourite of Victoria Beckham and Cavalli was the first designer to controversially announce he would use Kate Moss as the face of his Spring collection in 2006 after the cocaine scandal. He has designed outfits for Shakira’s Oral Fixation Tour and more recently for Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez.
The Cavalli Collection and Cavalli Selection are blends of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouchet produced from grapes grown by the Cavalli family. They own an estate in the Chianti region of Tuscany, where Roberto Cavalli’s son Tommaso runs the vineyard while his father concentrates on his fashion empire.
“Tommaso never asked me for anything in his life and wanted to give the name of the territory to the wine,” the designer told WWD. “He’s the true idealist. He didn’t want to take advantage of my name, but it’s taken me 40 years to build my brand – why not make reference to it to promote the wine?”
The Cavalli Selection comes in a standard Bordeaux bottle with a label featuring the designer’s trademark animal skin motifs. Then there is the Cavalli Collection, which is the same wine in a black leather case lined with a cheetah skin pattern. The bottle is black, with an embossed brass monogram and capsule.
There is also a presentation case which includes two hand-blown black glasses and a gem-studded corkscrew in the shape of a serpent. The first 5,000 bottles of Cavalli wine – which have taken eight years to perfect – will be distributed in Tuscany before launching in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and the US early next year.
Comparing the world of high fashion to that of wine, Roberto Cavalli said, ‘Wine needs almost infinite time, especially when you consider how many fashion collections I have created in the same eight years that it has taken to produce the first vintage of the Cavalli Selection.’
He added that fashion and wine producing had things in common, especially, ‘the adrenalin rush you get from a fashion show or from a tasting of your wine by a group of experts. It sends a shiver up your spine.’
Cavalli already produces a premium vodka, which is ‘filtered through layers of crushed Italian marble to achieve optimum purity’, according to the publicity. It also has a snake curling around the bottle.
Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson to the esteemed Italian footwear designer, has been busy expanding the Ferragamo family brand portfolio into the wine industry and agro-tourism with Il Borro. The estate is part of the portfolio of the family’s luxury holdings, including the fashion and accessories business, four hotels in Florence and a yacht-building company.
In 1993, the Ferragamo family purchased Il Borro, a villa located in Tuscany, from Duke Amadeo of Aosta, cousin to the heir of the Italian throne. The restored estate and its surroundings reflect the Tuscan lifestyle and produces sophisticated Bordeaux-style wines.
His grandfather, Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960), had been one of the pioneers of fashion made in Italy and made shoes for Hollywood stars such as Rita Hayworth, Sofia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Ava Gardner, Katherine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and Bette Davis. He invented the stiletto heel in 1955.
Unlike Cavalli, Ferragamo believes in keeping the fashion and the wines quite separate. You will not find the name Ferragamo on the bottle of Il Borro and Castill del Bosco for that reason. Ferragamo says that “it’s very important that we do not treat the product as a fashion item. Our wines are treated with great respect and credibility to the final consumers. We want people to buy the wine because they like the wine, not because it has ‘Ferragamo’ written on it.”
Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com