Mixing hospitality and fashion design is nothing new. Giorgio Armani has hotels in Milan and Dubai; Karl Lagerfeld will open a 20-story hotel in Macau come 2017 and Gucci has a Florence, Italy cafe. And the latest clothing behemoth to expand from traditional fashion brand into the lifestyle extension sphere is Roberto Cavalli, who softly opened a second outpost of his Cavalli Club restaurant and lounge (the first is in Dubai) in Miami just in time to ring in 2014.
Now, the leopard-heavy space -- which has already seen Jessica Biel and hubby Justin Timberlake roll through -- is officially open, promising patrons a hefty dose of standard, Cavalli-expected pizzazz (not to mention the designer's famous gnocchi and red wine from his Tuscan winery) just in time for the three-day Ultra Music Fest hitting town on March 28.
Here, we caught up with the designer (who dressed Kristen Bell and Kristin Chenoweth for the Oscars earlier this month) to find out the fine art of nightlife from the man who made it ok to dress like an exotic cat, no matter the occasion.
Sure, Miami is flashy and a very "Cavalli-appropriate" locale. But why did you choose the city dor your first restaurant in the U.S.?
Miami is such a wonderful and lively city, full of places to see. Itis becoming a Mecca for style, design and fashion. It is constantly changing and evolving and I wanted to be a part of that process. I wanted Miami to have a taste of Roberto Cavalli and what better than a restaurant and lounge?
We see pictures of you on your yacht. Looks like fun. What's your idea of a perfect night out?
A perfect night out in my opinion involves the great company of my closest friends and family, elegant surroundings and of course an unforgettable dining experience with superb food and wine, all accompanied by good music.
American nightlife is so different than that of a dining and dancing experience in Europe. What are your thoughts on the state of American hospitality?
American nightlife and dining is very rich in terms of options and possibilities. You have so many types of opportunities to enjoy yourself, you could potentially see someplace new every night. But I believe there is a big difference between quantity and quality. I hope to make my establishment not only a hotspot, but a place where people will want to keep coming back, where they feel immersed in the Cavalli lifestyle.
It's tough to find a "going out" outfit that manages to be sexy and fun but sophisticated. What do you think is the perfect outfit for visiting your new establishment?
Well, clearly if they are wearing Roberto Cavalli they will be absolutely perfect. A woman with a wonderful black gown or a printed shirt with a fitted pair of jeans certainly looks glamorous and sophisticated. Most of all I think sensuality is about character and personality. A woman who is confident and knows how to enter a room and capture everyone's attention with her grace and allure is the most attractive vision I could imagine.
150 Ocean Drive, Miami. (305) 695-419. www.cavallimiami.com.