India is country of progress: Roberto Cavalli

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) A master of fashion and luxurious taste, Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, who is in the capital to launch his first ever flagship store in the country, says it gives him happiness to witness the upswing in India's infrastructure and fashion sensibilities.

"It is always an honour to visit a beautiful country like India that holds a strong meaning for me altogether. For outsiders like us, India has always been a country of great culture. I have visited the country before also and trust me, I am noticing a huge development. Its beautiful to see the progressive India and the the civilisation," the 72-year-old told IANS.

Cavalli has forayed into the India market through a partnership with start-up firm Infinite Luxury Brands Pvt. Ltd., jointly set up by Indian fashion designer Manav Gangwani, Dubai-based entrepreneur Sahiba Narang and finance expert Rahul Kapoor.

Cavalli's world-known Cafe Cavalli has also opened shop in the country, at the DLF Emporio mall here, and if all goes well, he might even bring his Cavalli Club to India soon.

"Every visit to India is an unbelievable experience for me because I always get fascinated with the culture. My brand is here to make you happy and to add more beauty to already beautiful country. I saw fantastic evolution in India from past to present and it is not wrong to term India as the country of progress," he said.

Cavalli's store, spread out in an area of approximately 400 sq ft at the ground floor of the plush south Delhi mall, resonates the brand's trademarks - bold patterns and exotic animal prints.

The boutique houses women's and men's pret-a-porter collection as well as kidswear, apart from eye-wear, time wear and other accessories. The price of the collection depends upon the category of item, but be ready to shell out Rs.12,000 for a plain Cavalli t-shirt.

Cost notwithstanding, the designer is looking forward to a positive response from the country, especially from "young and beautiful women".

"I am sure that Indian ladies will love Cavalli clothes and will be great customers as my fashion seems perfect for them. Indian women are beautiful, elegant, sophisticated and sensual. They want to look divine and fantastic.

"I do believe in the Indian market, people have a way of mixing and matching bright colours. That is so exciting, and really close to my optimistic vision of glamour and fashion," said the designer, who admits he is fond of Indian actress Freida Pinto, who made a mark internationally with the Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire".

The designer also shared his love for the evergreen Indian sari.

"I love Indian sari, I love to watch them. They are vibrant, colourful and inspiring. They are so beautiful and I think I am not the only international designer who will agree with that," said Cavalli.

His Italian brand hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2004 when a section of the Hindu community protested against a line of female underwear designed for Harrods of London that featured images of Hindu goddesses. Cavalli had then withdrawn the line and issued an apology.

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