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February 28, 2018
Missoni style is the result of a partnership between Ottavio and Rosita who decided, in 1953, to set up a knitwear business, and were soon at the cutting edge of Italian fashion. The couple started a family and their children Vittorio, Luca and Angela, the brand’s creative director since 1996, grew up in direct contact with their parents’ work.
Closely involved with the business, they took on increasingly responsible roles, becoming co-creators in a project that continues to seduce and excite today. Missoni is now one of the best representatives of Italian fashion and design excellence around the world. With its pioneering multicolored aesthetic vision, it continues to influence the contemporary lifestyle, thanks also to the success of the Missoni Home line.
Tied to the aesthetic innovation and technical invention that have always changed the identity of knitwear, Missoni is one of the best known, loved and recognized fashion and design brands in the world
Tai and Rosita soon married and created their first knitwear line of tracksuits, integrating zippers on the legs. “It was really because Tai was too lazy to take off his shoes when putting them on,” laughed Rosita. On a visit to a neighboring shawl factory, the duo discovered the versatility of the Raschel knitting machine and the signature multi-colored zig-zag pattern was born.
The brand had a smashing debut at its first 1967 fashion show in Florence. The collection was comprised of sheer Lurex dresses, which proved to be problematic when it came to concealing the models’ white undergarments. “It simply wasn’t appropriate,” said Rosita. “They could keep the panties, but they had to take off their bras.” The bra-less models became the scandal of Florence, which proved to be more of a gift than a curse. The following season, Yves Saint Laurent showed his famously sheer collection, embracing the concept of fashion sans undergarments.
The Italian brand made its debut in the United States by famously winning over Diana Vreeland during a trip to New York City. Upon seeing the couple’s colorful clothes Ms. Vreeland remarked, “Who says a rainbow has seven colors? It has many shades.” Enamored by the Missonis’ talent, she filled the Missoni’s Plaza suite with fashion editors and department store buyers. With the nod of Vogue, the brand erupted in the United States and Europe, becoming the epitome of cool-girl 70’s fashion.