Cavalli Tommaso Spadolini Firenze

7 images

Credit: Giovanni Malgarini

In memoriam: inside the boats owned and designed by Roberto Cavalli

16 April 2024 • Written by Dea Jusufi

Legendary Italian designer Roberto Cavalli passed away on 12 April, 2024. While Cavalli is best known for his innovations in the fashion world, including sand-blasted jeans, patented leather and animal prints, he was also an owner and designer of several yachts. In this tribute, BOAT takes a look at all the superyachts that bear Cavalli's inventive signature...


Builder: Oceanfast
Length: 49.8m

Theo Angelopoulos had one goal in mind when he commissioned Thunder in 1995. The Greek shipping magnate wanted to be able to have breakfast in Saint-Tropez, lunch in Monaco and dinner in Portofino. The result? One of the largest and fastest dayboats the world has ever seen. 

She was designed inside and out by Jon Bannenberg, but Robert Cavalli was brought in under the new ownership of Ukranian businessman Boris Kogan. A €9 million refit followed, which saw the interiors transform into a kaleidoscopic vision of oblong shapes, funhouse mirrors and undulating furniture pieces. The hefty price tag excluded the exterior paint job, however, which was a clear coat mixed with "fingernail-sized" flakes of gold. 

Read More/Thunder: A closer look at one of the wildest yachts on the water


Builder: Baglietto
Length: 40.8m

Delivered in 2004, Aquila was first named RC, after her owner and designer, Roberto Cavalli. "This was really my boat to go to Cannes during the Cannes Film Festival. We had so many parties. My god, so many people," Cavalli told BOAT International in an exclusive interview. " A particularly memorable Cannes party in 2014 saw Heidi Klum, Kylie Minogue, Rosario Dawson and Sharon Stone attend, many of whom wore Cavalli-designed party dresses.

Tommaso Spadolini was responsible for Aquila's imposing, muscular exterior, which featured a wide body seldom seen before – the superstructure stretches across the full beam – but widely reproduced since. Crowd-pleasing features include a dedicated cinema room, a full-beam main saloon and fixed foredeck sunpads for sunbathing while underway. Accommodation is for up to ten guests, including a master cabin on the main deck.


Builder: Cerri Cantieri Navali
Length: 27m

Another boat owned by Roberto Cavalli, the brief for Freedom was succinct – he wanted "wow", he wanted speed and he wanted privacy. In other words, he envisioned "a boat Batman would want to have". The superyacht's straight lines and jet black exterior were partially inspired by his supercharged two-metre Novamarine RIB, which he often used on  holidays.  Delivered in 2018, Freedom marked another design collaboration with Spadolini – though the superyacht was around half the size of Aquila and designed for quieter family time.

Freedom's interiors are as characterful as you'd expect. The cabins and saloons are furnished in the designer's signature animal print; the galley has cloud wallpaper and is bigger than the owner's cabin (Cavalli loved to cook); the en suite bathroom is painted a very particular shade of green. Photography was a passion of his and so a selection of photos, taken by the designer himself, cover the superyacht's bulkheads and ceiling.

Read More/Diving into the details of 27m Freedom with designer and owner Roberto Cavalli

Sponsored listings