Want to Learn more about Swingin’ London? Meet Emilio Cavallini


A get-together with an artist and former fashion designer and stylist is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss, especially if we’re talking about a creative soul like Emilio Cavallini.



By Giulia Piceni. Photographs by Gabriele Busi.

Meeting an artist who started working in fashion in the Swingin’ London years while enjoying drinks and light bites? Emilio Cavallini tights designer is a world wide known as a pure creative. Getting together for an Italian aperitivo is a great way to soak up the atmosphere of two creative realms that inspire many students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze and form the foundation of Emilio Cavallini’s work.

An informal setting and a lively atmosphere framed the artworks that Emilio Cavallini exhibited in the fairy-like covered garden of Serre Torrigiani inFlorence. “Half of them have already been sold!” he exclaimed before going through the inspiration, concept and creation of each piece, not forgetting to mention his incredible working experience for Mary Quant and Victoria’s Secret. 

Portrait of Emilio Cavallini.

This one-of-a-kind occasion gave the students the opportunity to get in touch with a great piece of history and a gentle soul whose creations in art and fashion are and always will be of great relevance. Emilio Cavallini’s tights are the final output of a pure genius and creative artist.


The Sixties marked a significant moment in the history of fashion, with the Swinging London at the epicentre of the fashion revolution. Mary Quant’s miniskirt became the symbol of a more direct femininity that went back to the flapper era and hinted at the sexual liberation movements of that decade. This period was marked not only by a political revolution but also by a fashion revolution that reflected the changing attitudes of the era.

Mary Quant started to wonder how to emphasise that intrinsic lack of fabric in the miniskirt, which was a paradigm-changing piece. She knew someone had to create a way to highlight its importance. Emilio Cavallini, a young fashion designer from Paris, started working for the British fashion designer in London. During a creative consultation with Quant, Cavallini suggested that she enhance her mid-tight creation with his speciality – stockings. 

The designer Emilio Cavallini showing Lady Gaga wearing his creations.

Cavallini has always had a deep passion for nylon-based pieces, to the extent that he later started his eponymous brand specialising in these creations. Today, the brand counts among its clients some of the biggest celebrities of the moment, such as Harry Styles and Zendaya, who have used them for editorial looks. Lady Gaga also wore them while playing Harley Quinn. During our aperitivo at Serre Torrigiani, Cavallini revealed that Gaga requested 100 stockings and 100 tops so she could constantly wear them while filming. We can’t wait to see the Emilio Cavallini tights in action! 


Emilio Cavallini, like many others in the fashion industry, such as Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela, has gradually moved away from fashion and immersed himself in the art world while still retaining his roots. 
His creations are centred around stockings, a significant element that defined his previous career. He uses acrylic sheet structures to make them pass through holes and smashes their nylon threads to create abstract cocoons, offering a modern take on Optical Art from the 1960s and 70s, which was closely tied to the London art scene. 

Emilio Cavallini with Istituto Marangoni Firenze students.

These geometrical compositions are also deeply connected to the world of mathematics, which he was forced to study by his parents. As a result, the aura of algebra formulas is embedded in the symmetries and repetitions of these nylon and acrylic artworks. 

Emilio Cavallini’s catalog with examples of his interpretation of Optical Art.

During the aperitivo, Cavallini suggested a visit to the various artworks scattered throughout the Serre Torrigiani restaurant-greenhouse in Florence. He pointed out small details that revealed the process behind their creation and shared insights into his latest art experimentation. Cavallini was able to connect with the students present, showing an unexpected link with the city of Florence; he mentioned that he had a shop on Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence back in the 1980s, where he expressed his passion for textiles and hosted memorable parties.

Fields of Study
Fashion Business

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