Last Updated on 1st June 2010

After news that Max Mara Studio may or may not have copied Oscar de la Renta’s designs this morning, we’re breathing a sigh of relief it wasn’t Roberto Cavalli on the receiving end. Big designers, consider this your warning: copy Cavalli at your own peril.

To begin with, when people began to take ‘inspiration’ from his collections, the designer didn’t mind – he was flattered, even – but try doing that today and you’ll get an unhappy Italian.

“In the beginning, when people copied me I was happy,” he said. “[But now] I can understand when H&M or Zara copies me, but I hate it when big designers copy me. You have a big name, you should never copy me.”

Being irreplaceable, you see, is something he takes very seriously – so seriously, in fact, that if he were to fall down dead tomorrow (God forbid), the Roberto Cavalli fashion house would be no more. No replacements, no successors, “nobdy,” he tells Harper’s Bazaar.

Luckily at 69-years-young, there’s a lot more Cavalli left yet.

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