Classic Hollywood stars’ favourite yacht designer Carlo Riva dies

Boat-maker for the 1960s jet set Carlo Riva, designer of Riva Yachts has died aged 95.

French film icon Brigitte Bardot had one. So did Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor. King Hussein of Jordan, James Bond actor Sean Connery and Italian screen siren Sophia Loren

Riva took over the family business in the 1950s. Originally an engineer he was driven by a passion for boats.

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He became responsible for creating the well-known “Riva-style” boat — a distinctive aesthetic that has become synonymous around the world with elegance and taste.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Riva Boatyard became internationally successful with motorboats.

Riva also created a series of wooden yachts characterised by unmistakable design features, one of which was the “Ariston”, which he says was “designed with love, born pure and strong like a pedigree horse. Unforgettable! It was my lord of the sea”.

Other models like the “Tritone” – the first two-engine yacht), the “Sebino” – which marked the beginning of series production and the “Florida” followed.

All were characterised by meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship expertise as the vessels’ distinctive design qualities made many of Riva’s creations the object of desire for movie stars and aristocracy.

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