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“He really knows how to enhance a woman’s body,” says Rachele, proclaiming papa, naturally, is her favorite designer. “My father loves women and loves to look at them. He understands how they want to feel.” For his part, Roberto plays the quintessential protective Italian father, though he need not worry about his daughter donning the provocative, cheek-baring minidresses he sends down the runway. “Rachele is beautiful and has beautiful legs,” he boasts. “She does wear miniskirts, as long as they’re not too short.”
Rachele says she opts for the more sober looks — as sober as Cavalli can get. “I’m more at ease wearing jeans and a blouse,” she says. “When I get all decked out, if there’s a slit, it’s in the back, and I don’t wear anything too daring.”
Rachele is a true Cavalli when it comes to her heels, however. She only wears stilettos and admits that she owns at least 100 different pairs, mainly of her father’s design. Yet while dad is certainly a bit flamboyant, Rachele is serious-minded and poised. She even manages to make her dedication to the most sultry footwear seem reasonable instead of decadent. She started wearing heels after a motorcycle accident a few years ago left her right foot aching. “It may sound strange, but my heel hurts more if I wear flats because I flex the foot more,” she says. Her rebellion, fashion-wise, means vintage shopping, preferably in New York, where her family has an apartment and where she spent Christmas holidays growing up.
In Italy, Rachele spends weekends at the family’s restored medieval villa outside Florence with her parents and her two brothers, Daniele, 17, and Robin, nine. It’s there the luxe Cavalli look comes to life. The villa, surrounded by acres of olive trees, boasts two pools, a Roman-style sauna with marble columns and a menagerie that includes parrots, ducks, dogs and cats. Rachele talked her father out of buying a tiger.