Three generations of Missonis were the honored guests of San Francisco-based Academy of Art University at their School of Fashion’s May 8th Graduation Fashion Show.
Fashion journalism doyenne Suzy Menkes, who recently announced she was leaving the New York Times to become the International Fashion Vogue editor for Condé Nast, introduced Angela and Margherita, who were awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees just before the runway show began.
Angela graciously accepted the award and spoke to a packed house of fashion students, instructors, and industry professionals. “This is an incredible honor,” she said, “I went to work at my parents’ factory when I was 18, and I never expected to receive a doctorate.”
She celebrated her daughter Margherita, just back from an appearance at the Metropolitan Museum Gala, for her unique sense of style and grace that embodies the heart and soul of Missoni. Stepping up the podium, Margherita told the crowd, “I’m humbled to be receiving this award. What growing up Missoni gave me was a sense of belonging.”
At a symposium earlier in the week at the Academy’s Morgan Auditorium featuring the three generations, Margherita said that a “sense of place’’ in their work and living area in Sumirago had been critical to the brand’s success. Angela added that it was unusual to see a company in which the women had the last word. Ottavio, an Olympic athlete, started the firm with tracksuits, but Rosita soon added her signature sweaters and the rest was history.
After the graduating designers’ collections walked the runway, Angela Missoni announced the winner of a Missoni Design Internship in Italy. A surprised Yuko Okudaira, BFA Fashion Design, was ecstatic when she heard Angela announce she would have the opportunity to intern at the legendary headquarters in Sumirago.
Yuko’s vibrant designs were crowd pleasers when the models strutted down the runway wearing the colorful, fringed garments. The designer, who has interned at Mansoor Scott and Micaela Greg, found inspiration for her senior collection from the skate culture and graffiti art that is prevalent near her home, Kumamoto City, in Japan. Her models were dressed in neon fringe and graffiti prints from head to toe; in garments that were comprised of white cotton twill, polyester mesh, and lycra knit jersey.
Ashley Castanos, MFA Fashion Journalism, School of Fashion, Academy of Art University