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Gone Too Soon: Designer Federica "Kikka" Cavenati Dies at Age 28 After Sudden Illness

Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Italian-born designer Federica Cavenati, also known as "Kikka," has passed away at 28.

According to a statement released by her family on Friday, the co-founder of the London-based label 16Arlington passed away last month after a short and sudden illness. Cavenati became widely known for her pieces worn by stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish.

"After a short and sudden illness, the designer died on Monday, October 18, 2021," the statement says. "She is survived by her mother, father and brother, and her life partner, 16Arlington co-founder Marco Capaldo. Together with Marco she built a business which has singularly redefined London's take on glamour."

Photo by Jack Taylor/BFC/Getty Images

Cavenati founded the label alongside Capaldo in 2017, and they quickly became known for the brand's creativity on the red carpet and London Fashion Week shows, particularly for their use of sequins and feathers. In October, Amal Clooney wore one of the house's floor-length gowns to the London Film Festival.

"The word 'special' feels insufficient to assign to the forcefield of optimism, passion and kindness that was Kikka, but it is undoubtedly the most direct route to capturing her," the family statement continued. "That the 16Arlington studio will no longer ring with her wicked laughter and boundless appetite for creativity is a tragic loss to all those lucky enough to know her."

American actress and filmmaker Lena Dunham was among the friends and celebrities who shared their grief on Instagram after Cavenati's death was announced.

"The first time I met my friend Federica 'Kikka' Cavenati, it took me about 10 minutes to realise how beautiful she was," she wrote. "And that's really saying something, because Kikka was nothing if not beautiful – shiny copper hair, massive Bambi eyes, the kind of pillowy lips that women pay a lot for, and perfect teeth with just enough character to be disarming."

The Girls creator went on to praise the designer's charisma and ability to make other women feel special and beautiful.

"Kikka lived to help other women recognise their beauty, and that quality was inherent to her own," she added. "Kikka was, by trade, a fashion designer. Along with her partner in work and love, Marco Capaldo, Kikka founded @16arlington, a label that has single-handedly redefined the spirit of London fashion and given style back its folly and joy."

In honor of Cavenati, Capaldo will showcase an unseen collection in February of 2022.