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Missoni Italian Fashion

Updated on May 29, 2017
Robie Benve profile image

Robie is an Italian artist that lives in the US. She loves to share her first-hand knowledge about Italy and useful vacation tips.

Missoni brand knit pattern
Missoni brand knit pattern | Source

Missoni’s Colorful Style

Missoni’s trademark is a design with amazing colors and geometrical patterns, one of the most recognizable looks of Italian fashion.

The Missoni fashion house has been able to create an immediately recognizable style. With a kaleidoscope of colors, unusual color combinations, zig-zags, lines, waves, patchworks, flowers, and flames Missoni has become a worldwide symbol of Italian style.

The unique style: joyful, unconventional, and characterized by knitted bright zig-zag patterns, has been closely intertwined with the European art world, in particular abstract and informal art.

Lively colors, creative graphic effects, and innovative knitting techniques, with varying textures and weighs of the threads, has raised the fashion lines of Missoni to glorified objects.

Missoni Store in Venice Italy

The window of the Missoni store in Venice , Italy, near St. Mark's Square
The window of the Missoni store in Venice , Italy, near St. Mark's Square | Source

How did Missoni Start?

The Missoni Fashion business was founded on 18 April 1953 by Ottavio Missoni (11 February 1921 – 9 May 2013) and his wife Rosita Jelmini (1931- ), on the day of their wedding. Since then it has been a crescendo of success and honors for the brand Missoni, now recognized worldwide as one of the most artful and colorful designer lines.

Before starting in the clothing business, Ottavio Missoni dedicated his life to sport, participating also in the 1948 Summer Olimpics in London, where he met his wife.

After they got married, in 1953, they lived in Milan, Italy and started a clothing business in their basement. Their style was really unique and revolutionary for those times, and Ottavio was the salesperson going to stores and trying to convince them to take a break from the dark colors of the Italian after-WWII style, and buy colorful knittings, tailored in a very original style.

Slowly success and recognition started to trickle in, and in 1967 Missoni participated in the renowned fashion show in Palazzo Pitti, Florence with a collection that anticipated the “nude look”, a style not yet understood or accepted, so the Fashion House received negative critiques by the organizers of the show and were not invited back the next year.

In 1968 Yves Saint Laurent proposed the nude look with better success, in the meanwhile Missoni started expanding overseas, opening a store in New York City in 1970.

In the 70s Americans fashion experts described the Missoni style as put-together: Missoni’s prints would make even the most casual look appear fashion-forward and refined.

The Founders

Ottavio Missoni (11 February 1921 – 9 May 2013) and wife Rosita Jelmini presenting the book on his life.
Ottavio Missoni (11 February 1921 – 9 May 2013) and wife Rosita Jelmini presenting the book on his life. | Source

Ottavio and Rosita’s Children Carry On The Family Tradition

The three Missoni children, Vittorio, Luca, and Angela, grew up highly involved in the family business and gradually took roles of high responsibility.

For years they actively participated in the creation of the innovative Missoni concept, that joining artisan skills with high technology and combining esthetic innovation with development of new looks.

After Ottavio Missoni died in 2013, his children kept managing the business. The evergreen brand continues to fascinate and enthuse people everywhere.

Missoni Fall/Winter 2017 Collection Fashion Show

Missoni Home and Hotel Missoni

Today Missoni is one of the best known design brands in the world. With its colorful vision of esthetics, the fashion home continues to influence the modern life style, also thanks to the great success of the Missoni Home line and the recent opening of the gorgeous five-star Hotels Missoni.

The Hotels are in Edinburgh and in Kuwait, stunning and contemporary landmarks, decorated with bold and genial Missoni style that goes from the linens and bathrobe, to the mosaics and furnishing.

Sitting area inside the Edinburgh's Hotel Missoni, at the bar.
Sitting area inside the Edinburgh's Hotel Missoni, at the bar. | Source

© 2012 Robie Benve


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    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Kathryn, thanks for sharing your experience. :) Blessings.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I worked at Target for a few years, and that is how I became familiar with this name. The line was incredibly popular, and many items sold out fast.

      Thank you for the history of the Missoni name. This is very informative.