Photo: Courtesy of Just Cavalli.
It seems that Roberto Cavalli courts controversy, as evidenced by a backlog of statements like U.S. fashion is “terrible and you almost can't even look at it," “Karl Lagerfeld looks ridiculous," and referring to Giorgio Armani as a “little king." None of this touches his Twitter musings (“Do you prefere the sex....... in the day time or in the night ??”). However, Cavalli and his fashion house are “deeply saddened by the distress expressed” by one Muslim community, which claims Just Cavalli employs a sacred emblem as the brand’s logo, per The Daily Mail.
Image: Courtesy of M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism.
Both London and Chicago saw protests during the weekend against his company’s alleged use of the Sufi symbol, which stands for purity, peace, and the name of God. And, resembles the rounded shape inked on Georgia May Jagger in recent campaigns — though it has appeared in Just Cavalli ads dating back to 2011. Last month, a European Union trademark commission sided with Cavalli’s assertion that his logo differs from the Sufi emblem and wouldn’t block the brand from promoting it. The Cavalli house hopes the E.U. decision will “convince the Sufist religion of the complete good faith and the groundlessness of their requests,” a spokesman added. But, “When you rotate such a symbol, the meaning does not change,” said Nasim Bahadorani, who put together the Chicago rally. She told The Chicago Tribune: “It still spells out, ‘God.’ When he's using it tattooed on naked models…he's literally saying this is a sign of sin and it represents lust. You can only imagine how outrageously insulting this is to us.”
Groups have previously taken to the streets in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Germany, and the students of Sufism (as its 500,000 followers are called) launched a change.org petition. Titled “TAKE OFF the ‘Just Cavalli’ logo & STOP misrepresenting our FAITH,” the text dubs Cavalli’s reported appropriation of the emblem trademarked by the M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism as “disrespectful,” “offensive,” and “degrading.” As of this posting, it has 3,140 signatures.