ROME, April 13 ― Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, known for his animal-print designs loved by showbusiness stars, has died at the age of 83, his company said.

Cavalli, who founded his label in the early 1970s, had been ill for some time. He is survived by his six children and his partner Sandra Bergman Nilsson.

“The Roberto Cavalli company shares condolences with Mr. Cavalli's family, his legacy remains a constant source of inspiration,” Sergio Azzolari, chief executive of Roberto Cavalli, said in a post on Instagram.

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The designer died on Friday at his home in Florence, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Cavalli, who used bright colours and patchwork effects in his often revealing creations, was an extroverted art lover who wore tinted glasses and smoked a cigar.

He expanded into real estate and often spent evenings in his popular “Just Cavalli Cafe,” a nightclub in central Milan.

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Giorgio Armani said he always had “enormous respect” for Cavalli even though his vision of fashion could not have been more different.

“Roberto was a true artist, wild and wonderful in his use of prints, capable of transforming fantasy into seductive clothes,” he posted on social media platform X.

A popular image of US model Cindy Crawford in July 2000 shows her descending Rome's Spanish steps in a Cavalli-designed long slip dress depicting a tiger face.

“You will be missed and you are loved by so many that your name will continue on, a beacon of inspiration for others, and especially for me,” said Roberto Cavalli's creative director Fausto Puglisi.

The Florence-based fashion group is owned by Auriel Investment SA, controlled by Dubai's Hussain Sajwani who rescued it in 2019.

Cavalli's funeral will be held in Florence on Monday, Italian media reported. ― Reuters