In his latest design twist, Roberto Cavalli has put his spin — and his iconic snakeskin print — on a MasterCard.

The “Cavalli Card” will be available starting March 1, with application forms at and in all Roberto Cavalli boutiques worldwide. A launch event is scheduled for Milan Fashion Week in March.

“I love to immerse myself in new projects — they stimulate my creativity,” the designer stated.

This is the latest offbeat brand extension for Cavalli, who in 2006 designed a cellular phone with LG, and now has his stamp on a vodka and wine production. In addition, last month, the designer unveiled the first of a new series of nightclubs in Florence. Coming up next, Cavalli plans to open locales in Dubai and Milan.
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The card, with iridescent colors similar to the designer’s yacht, is created in collaboration with Berlin-based Corpcom, a subsidiary of TRIUM Group, which creates new card programs. The Cavalli Card will entitle cardholders to a number of benefits, ranging from dedicated VIP services at all Cavalli boutiques and access to special sales to invitations to events, fashion shows and trunk shows.

In addition, Cavalli and Corpcom teamed up with a number of luxury partners in the wellness, beauty, hospitality, and travel arenas, which will offer cardholders a range of exclusive lifestyle benefits and privileges.

New York received a sorely needed jolt of neon-hued energy on Thursday night as Soho was converted into Stephen Sprouse land. To celebrate its new collection based on works by the late designer, Louis Vuitton transformed its Greene Street boutique into a graffiti-covered clubhouse.

The glow was just as bright a few blocks away at Deitch Projects, which simultaneously debuted the Sprouse retrospective Rock on Mars. (Among the many highlights: the "scan line" dress he designed for Blondie's "Heart of Glass" video, his fluorescent-tinted sketches, and a wall of his Polaroids of the eighties downtown set—Debbie Harry in oversize Wayfarers; Francesco Clemente, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Duran Duran back when they were cute enough to incite riots.)

Joanne Sprouse, the designer's mom, was the center of attention at both fêtes. "He would be so happy with this," she said. "He'd be crowded, but he would be proud." Crowded was an understatement: The line for the store portion of the party—the VIP section, if you will, with a guest list that included LVMH bigwigs and celebs—was littered with would-be crashers, while the queue to get into Deitch Projects snaked all the way down Wooster to Canal Street.

The crush continued at the third and final stop on the Sprouse celebration circuit: a performance by Debbie Harry at the Bowery Ballroom. "This place has never seen so much mink," the new wave icon shouted from the stage, as Sprouse's rose motif—a discarded design idea from his 2000 collaboration with Vuitton, which Marc Jacobs revisited in the new collection—was projected behind her.

Perched in the club's balcony was Jacobs himself, clad in his now trademark kilt with Sprouse tights tucked into combat boots. "He's a true hero of mine, and of fashion," he said as he greeted a stream of cross-dressers, buff men in tiny tees, and the likes of Peter Marino and Donna Karan. "A true artist and a brilliant thinker." And what did he expect the response to the collection to be? "People are going to love it or they're going to hate it. And I'm fine with either reaction."

Like the artist and designer who inspired the new collection, Louis Vuitton is heading downtown for its new Stephen Sprouse collection.

This week, the company’s boutique on SoHo’s Greene Street will be transformed into a Sprouse destination in time for the collection’s arrival.

“SoHo is a special place for the entire launch of the Sprouse collection,” said Daniel Lalonde, Louis Vuitton North America president and chief executive officer. “It’s in the proximity of where Stephen Sprouse hung out, so we are going to give the entire store a Stephen Sprouse feel. It will have a lot of reminders of Stephen Sprouse. We will be giving it a new identity.”

For instance, the company is wrapping the store in vinyl and spray painting neon graffiti all over the facade. The window display will feature a 6-foot neon light installation in Sprouse’s Rose motif. The store’s interior, enhanced with black brick wall facing, will also be sprayed with the neon graffiti.

The collection will launch in its entirety at the SoHo boutique on Thursday. The complete worldwide launch will follow on Feb. 2, though the Rose pieces will be available at Louis Vuitton stores worldwide starting Friday.

For the launch, the luxury goods company is also creating two limited edition pieces, which will only be available at the SoHo location: a Stephen Sprouse graffiti skateboard replete with a hard case monogram skateboard trunk, and a Stephen Sprouse “Roses” T-shirt. The company hopes to sell three graffiti skateboards with trunks for $8,250 each, and 70 T-shirts for $250 each. “I don’t expect them to last very long,” Lalonde said. “By Friday, there probably won’t be any more left.”

Proceeds will benefit Free Arts NYC, which provides underserved children throughout New York City with special arts programs. Vuitton is also making an undisclosed donation to the Sprouse Estate, as well as the Stephen Sprouse Memorial Scholarship Fund at the National Academy for Design here.

Sprouse became known in the Eighties for his graffiti art and fashion designs. In 2001, Vuitton artistic director Marc Jacobs collaborated with Sprouse and created an instant must-have accessories collection with the Monogram Graffiti collection. Sprouse died in 2004, and Vuitton made its first donation to the fund in 2006 when Jacobs created a scarf in Sprouse’s honor, using one of the collaboration’s leopard prints.

Vuitton will honor the late artist with three events this Thursday. The night will kick off with cocktails at the Vuitton boutique on Greene Street, with a simultaneous event at nearby Deitch Projects’ Wooster Street Gallery for the opening of the “Rock on Mars” Sprouse retrospective. Afterwards, Vuitton and Jacobs will host a bash at the Bowery Ballroom, featuring a performance by Sprouse’s friend Debbie Harry, followed by DJ Jus Ske. The venue is expected to have a Sprouse feel, with a special graffiti-and-neon decor.

“It’s something new from Vuitton to start the year off,” Lalonde said of the collection. “The product, design, and expression are uplifting and rejuvenating. That’s the feel we try to provide for the evening and for the collection.”

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