Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, known for his slinky leopard-print dresses and other flamboyant garments, has died at aged 83.

The fashion house that bears his name announced the death on Instagram late on Friday, saying “it is with great sadness that today we say our final goodbyes to our founder.” 

Cavalli died at his home in Florence after a lengthy illness, according to the Italian newswire Ansa. No cause of death was given. 

Born in Florence in 1940, Cavalli studied painting and textiles at the city’s Academy of Art. He launched his own label in 1970 and became well known for animal prints, leather and minidresses made from patchwork denim. 

“Fashion is part of our life. When you wake up in the morning you say, ‘What do I have to wear to look beautiful, fantastic, sexy, special?’” Cavalli told CNN in 2008. 

Among the stars who wore his creations were Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Beyonce, Madonna and Taylor Swift.

After expanding his luxury group into an empire that included eye-wear, fragrances and restaurants, Cavalli sold 90% of the eponymous house to the Italian private equity company Clessidra Sgr in 2015. Four years later, Damac Properties PJSC’s chairman Hussain Sajwani bought the company through his private investment firm Vision Investments.

“I cannot imagine a vision of fashion more distant from mine than that of Roberto Cavalli, yet I have always had enormous respect for him,” fellow designer Giorgio Armani wrote on his X account. “Roberto was a true artist, wild and wonderful in his use of prints, capable of transforming fantasy into seductive clothes.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.