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  Mayhem and Madness for Cavalli at H&M

Dated: 11/11/07

New York - The red carpet was out in front of the H and M flagship on Fifth Avenue in New York on Thursday morning, Nov. 8, for the launch of Roberto Cavalli's collaboration with the retailer, as hoards of fans snaked the block in anticipation of laying their hands on as many Cavalli pieces as they could possibly grab Inside, a very tan Cavalli, wearing sunglasses bearing his initials, calmly answered took questions from reporters and posed for photos as campaign model Jessica Stam milled about, wearing a leopard print dress from the collection. It was just minutes before 10 a.m., when the store would open to the public. "I spoke with London and Milan," said Cavalli, "and they told me that after two hours, everything was gone!" In New York, it took a lot less than two hours – within minutes, the first shoppers, who sprinted into the store as they shoved others out of the way, had cleared the racks. There were screams from people scrambling to get their hands on something – anything - as employees threw snakeskin scarf print evening gowns from the upper level down to the outstretched arms of the masses. One woman swept up, and knocked over in the process, an entire rack of gold beaded flapper dresses, one of the signature pieces of the collection priced at $249.50. Others clawed their way to tables with stacks of high-waisted dark denim with gold detailing on the back pockets and leopard print stilettos. Leopard print found its way on to just about everything in the women's collection, from sexy chiffon dresses, to a trench coat, bras and panties, and even a bustier. Cavalli said he took inspiration for this collection for H&M from the celebrities he dresses, like Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce, to give young people "their own red carpet style," he said. As the frenzied crowds cleared the racks and shelves of all the Cavalli merchandise, Cavalli stood on an escalator with campaign model Jessica Stam, surveying the scene and snapping photos with his own digital camera. And what did he think about all of the mayhem for his clothes? Cavalli just held out his hands, shrugged his shoulders, and flashed a huge grin.