Roberto Cavalli built a luxe fashion empire. Now he’s redefining luxury for his personal life in an intimate way on the open sea.

Sometimes, the ultimate luxury means the ability to enjoy a magnificent setting in a private way. And so, a few years ago, world-renowned fashion designer Roberto Cavalli decided to move on from his yacht, the 41-metre Baglietto RC, well-known for lavish parties with VIP guests.

Cavalli approached the same luxury yacht architect, Tommaso Spadolini, to design a new vessel. This time the brief was different: for private cruising only with his partner, three crew members and up to four guests − plus his two dogs, Lupo and Lapo. As Cavalli has a nautical licence, he wanted a smaller boat to be closer to the water, so he could drive it himself. And that is what he got: the 28-metre M/Y Freedom.

The yacht is breathtaking − two sweeping arches frame the aft cockpit, which help shield the space from the wind. Cavalli wanted something sporty and aggressive that would reflect his personal approach to life at sea and his strong personality. His inspiration? The Dark Knight himself, a boat that Batman would drive, he said to the designer.

As for the interior, the challenge was to maximize the contact with the sea while ensuring uncompromised privacy. Cavalli specified that his own suite should be on a raised level behind the pilothouse – a first on a yacht of this size – with all-round sea views and natural ventilation. This meant devising a split-level layout, with the main salon on the main deck aft and the owner’s suite just four steps up on the same level as the pilothouse.

To ensure privacy, Cavalli’s suite is accessed by a staircase from the main salon that also serves as a private lounge when there are no guests. And to provide close contact with the sea, the aft deck cockpit is much lower than normal, functioning as a continuous outside space with sliding glass doors on three sides. A VIP suite and guest cabin are nestled in the lower deck, along with the galley/dinette and crew accommodation.

Cavalli handled the interior design himself. “My style is eclectic, and I chose a lot of African animal-skin prints for the upholstery, cushion covers and bedspreads, a theme in some of my fashion collections,” he says. “I’m also a keen photographer, and the bulkheads are decorated with panoramic photos taken during my travels.” Cavalli is overjoyed: “I am to spend as much time as I can on board…and hopefully live aboard until September.”

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