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MILAN — “They still love me. I guess it’s because I am a simple person and they realize it. In the end, the word spreads that I am kind and friendly,” said Roberto Cavalli with a shrug, referring to the fans who elbowed their way toward him for selfies at the gala dinner Thursday to open the biannual AIDS fund-raiser Convivio.
Cavalli was one of a slew of designers to turn out at the event. The reserved and press-shy Ermanno Scervino, whose friendship with Kanye West landed him more than a few tabloid stories, coyly revealed he is the one who showed the 16th-century Forte Belvedere to West for his wedding to Kim Kardashian last month. Scervino also opened up his atelier in Florence to West to help him fine-tune his designs. Scervino’s verdict? “He is talented, I like him.”
Flanked by Convivio organizer and Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani and model Eva Herzigova, Lapo Elkann was fresh off his speech at a luxury summit in Milan a day earlier. The entrepreneur said he carefully handpicks these conferences. “I am not and don’t want to be seen as a know-it-all,” he said.
Alberta Ferretti, accompanied by her brother and executive chairman of Aeffe SpA, Massimo Ferretti, arrived wearing a cast on her arm embellished with a flower pattern that mirrored a print on her black dress. “I wanted to be a bit eccentric,” she joked of her accessory — required after a recent fall on the street.
Others strolling the aisles at the event, launched by Gianni Versace in 1992 and which this year is open to the public until Tuesday at Fieramilanocity, included Diego and Andrea Della Valle; Moncler’s Remo Ruffini; Roberta Armani; Anna Molinari; Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director Massimiliano Giornetti; Silvia Venturini Fendi; Valentino’s Stefano Sassi and Pierpaolo Piccioli; Alessandro Dell’Acqua; new Krizia owner Zhu Chongyun; Kiton’s chief executive officer Antonio De Matteis; Italia Independent ceo Andrea Tessitore; Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi; Ports 1961’s Fiona and Salem Cibani; Z Zegna’s Paul Surridge; Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Iceberg’s creative directors Alexis Martial and Federico Curradi; Massimo Piombo, as well as Veronica Etro, who was accompanied by her brother Jacopo and her husband Alessandro Frigerio. “Here at Convivio, I always buy great things I really use,” she said, admitting her fondness for shopping.
Other family groups included Margherita Missoni and her sister Teresa; the Gilmar Group’s Paolo Gerani and his mother Giuliana Gerani; siblings Gaia and Tomaso Trussardi; Costume Natonal’s Carlo and Ennio Capasa, whose 18-year-old daughter Anna Luisa Capasa was part of the cast in Academy Award winning movie “The Great Beauty.”
Several young designers turned up, including Marco de Vincenzo, Gabriele Colangelo and Fausto Puglisi, who paid homage to Gianni Versace by wearing one of his vintage shirts. There were also Casamadre’s Alessia Crea and David Parisi; CO|TE’s Tomaso Anfossi and Francesco Ferrari, along with handbag designer Sara Battaglia, who said she has just launched her own online store. A line of bags is also in the pipeline for jewelry designer Carolina Neri and Bérangère Lux, who founded the CA&LOU label in 2010. “We are planning a big event for September, where we will launch our first capsule collection of evening bags,” Neri said.
Genny’s new creative director Sara Cavazza revealed that the brand will launch a new fragrance in September, which will be produced by Italian perfume manufacturing company Italart.
Table settings at the dinner on the second floor were interpreted according to the theme chosen by Convivio: “Fantasy.”
For example, Prada re-created a dreamy miniature Italian garden populated by the company’s ironic and playful Trick Robots, an orchestra of playing monkeys and precious original Meissen porcelain figures. Costume National commissioned a work by artist Orodè Deoro, who realized “Mad Hatter,” a ceramic installation inspired by Tim Burton’s version of “Alice in Wonderland.”
The sweltering heat hitting Milan wasn’t only one of the night’s main topics of conversation, but also served as inspiration for Byblos creative director Manuel Facchini. “To fight the heat, in July we are launching a clothing capsule collection decorated with prints of glaciers re-elaborating satellite imagery,” he said.