|Founded||Gallarate, Lombardy (1953)|
|Founder(s)||Ottavio and Rosita Missoni|
|Number of locations||20 Countries|
|Key people||Angela Missoni
|Products||Knitwear, Leather, Cotton.|
|Revenue||€67.3 million (2012)|
|Divisions||Missoni, Missoni Home, Hotel Missoni|
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (May 2013)|
Aside from the main Missoni line, the company has diversified and offers a variety of luxury goods. Missoni Sport was initially licensed out but production and marketing was brought in-house in January 2002 and has since been discontinued. M Missoni is a less expensive line introduced in 1998, manufactured and distributed by Marzotto (now Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A). It has achieved remarkable success in being able to reach a larger number of consumers and is now being sold at premier department and specialty stores across the world.
The Missoni Home collection has its roots in furnishing fabrics produced in 1981 in collaboration with Rosita's family firm. They launched their first perfume in 1982, although that product has nothing to do with the license now held by Estée Lauder.
In November 2005, Missoni and the Rezidor Hotel Group signed an agreement to create Hotel Missoni, a lifestyle hotel chain, with plans to have 30 hotels open or in development by 2012. As of March 2011, five properties have been confirmed.
- Hotel Missoni Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom – opened 8 June 2009
- Hotel Missoni Kuwait – Kuwait City, Kuwait – opened 1 March 2011
- Hotel Missoni Jebel Sifah – Muscat, Oman – opening Q1 2012
- Hotel Missoni Ilha de Cajaíba – Bahia, Brazil – opening Q1 2012
- Hotel Missoni Belek – Belek, Turkey – opening Q1 2013
- Hotel Missoni Mauritius – Baie du Cap, Mauritius – opening 2014
The first property, Hotel Missoni Edinburgh, opened on 8 June 2009 in a prime location on the city's Royal Mile. The second property, Hotel Missoni Kuwait, will open in a luxury mixed-use development on the seafront in early 2010. A property was previously announced for Dubai's Palm Jumeirah island, but has since been cancelled. The third announced property for the chain will be the 300-room Hotel Missoni Jebel Sifah, a beachfront resort located outside of Muscat, Oman; it is planned to open in the first quarter of 2012. A fourth property, Hotel Missoni Cape Town, was announced on 9 June 2009; the 157-room property was due to open in 2010 shortly after the FIFA World Cup, but has been placed on hold and temporarily scrapped. The chain's fifth property, the 150-room Hotel Missoni Ilha de Cajaíba, will debut in northeast Brazil in early 2012. A new 138-room golf and spa resort in Belek, Turkey, was announced in 2010; it is due to open in 2013.
Ottavio "Tai" Missoni was born in 1921 in Dubrovnik (Ragusa in Italian). His father, Vittorio Missoni, was an Italian sea captain (and son of a Furlan magistrate transferred in the then Austrian- ruled Dalmatia) and his mother, Teresa de' Vidovich Countess di Capocesto e Ragosniza, was a Croatian noblewoman. Before World War II he was an international athlete, but spent most of the war as a POW in Egypt. After the war he set up a workshop with his friend Giorgio Oberweger, making wool track-suits. His "Venjulia" tracksuits were adopted by the Italian team at the 1948 Olympics in London, and Tai himself qualified for the final of the 400m hurdle race. At Wembley he met Rosita Jelmini, daughter of a family of shawl makers in Golasecca in the province of Varese.
They married in April 1953, and set up a small knitwear workshop in Gallarate, not far from Rosita's home village. In 1958 they presented in Milan their first collection, called Milano-Simpathy, which was the first to bear the Missoni label. The business prospered, with the support of legendary editor Anna Piaggi, then at Arianna. On a trip to New York, Rosita met the French stylist Emmanuelle Khanh in 1965, which led to a collaboration and a radical new collection the following year. Their fame was assured in April 1967, when they were invited to show at the Pitti Palace in Florence. Rosita told the models to remove their bras, supposedly because they were the wrong colour and showed through the thin lamé blouses. The material became transparent under the lights and caused a sensation. The Missonis were not invited back the following year, but the business went from strength to strength, building a new factory in Sumirago in 1969. With their designs being championed in the US by Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue magazine, they opened their first boutique there, inside Bloomingdales.
In the early 1970s Missoni reached the peak of its influence in the fashion world. Tai Missoni then became more interested in other projects, everything from designing costumes for La Scala, to designing carpets and tapestries. Rosita has admitted that in the 1990s she lost interest in fashion, before handing over to her daughter Angela in 1998. Rosita now is responsible for overseeing the design of all home projects.
On 13 September 2011, Missoni made headlines briefly when Target Stores offered low-cost variants of Missoni products in their stores and on their website. Most items sold out within 24 hours, with lines up to 100 people long waiting for restocking, and Target's website crashed repeatedly. Many items appeared on eBay within hours, at two to three times markup.
Missoni knitwear is known for its multitude of patterns such as stripes, geometrics, and abstract florals, in a kaleidoscope of colours. They are also known for the liberal use of many different fibers, such as wool, cotton, linen, rayon and silk. The brand was always very popular among celebrities since its first appearance on the international fashion scene, and has been worn by Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone, Nicole Kidman, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez and Julia Roberts, among other celebrities.
The three children of the founders play a large part in the business. Vittorio (born 1954) is the Marketing Director, Luca (born 1956) was responsible for the design of the menswear collection through to the Spring/Summer 2008 collection. Angela (born 1958) was only the womenswear designer but took over menswear beginning with the Fall/Winter 2008/2009 collection. Luca in turn became the head Creative Director/Director of the company from then on.
Luca's daughter, Jennifer Missoni, is an actress who has appeared in Off Broadway theatre productions, and in episodes of Damages and the Law & Order series. Angela's daughter, Margherita, designs accessories at Missoni and is also a model, signed to [Marilyn Agency]. She is the unofficial muse of the Missoni collection and the face of their two perfumes and was the face for Missoni for Target collection. Creative Director Angela Missoni brought her entire family and some friends to London for one of their latest campaigns, shot in London's Museum of Everything.
Disappearance of Vittorio Missoni
Venezuelan air and sea rescue services were searching on 5 January 2013, for a plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, the CEO of Missoni, as well as his wife and four others which went missing on 4 January. The plane, a Britten-Norman Islander, that was carrying Missoni, his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple and two Venezuelan crew members disappeared after taking off from a resort in Los Roques, an archipelago 80 miles North off the coast of Venezuela.
After three days of searching, there was still no sign of Missoni or the five others. Search teams are using a plane and a helicopter and the Venezuelan coast guard to find the small plane they were travelling in.
On 10 January, the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal reported that a body was found floating in the sea about 500 meters from the port of La Guaira on the Venezuelan mainland but it later turned out to be part of an unrelated case involving a fisherman.
Italy's national air safety agency said the owner of the plane did not have a certificate to operate and the pilot's license had expired in November 2012.
Ottavio Missoni's death
On 1 May 2013, Ottavio Missoni was taken to hospital, but at his request, he went home to be with his family in Sumirago. On 18 April he and Rosita had marked the 60th anniversary of their marriage. During the night of the 8th and 9th May, Ottavio Missoni died peacefully in his sleep.
- "Missoni History". Missoni S.p.A. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- Menkes, Suzy (2003). "Missoni's family mosaic". International Herald Tribune (London, published 2003-12-02). Retrieved 7 April 2008.[dead link]
- "Article from ',Corriere della Sera',, an Italian newspaper". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. 12 February 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-09-13/features/chi-targets-website-crashes-after-missoni-launch-20110913_1_target-hits-target-collection-target-corp 13 September 2011.
- "Missoni: Evening Dress 1984.589.5a,b". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 7 April 2008. Evening dress from Winter 1978 collection
- "Story about Missoni". The Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 22 July 2012. Story about the brand of Missoni.
- "Missoni catwalk show at the V&A". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 5 August 2007. Has lots of photos of Missoni knitwear
- Jennifer Missoni at the Internet Movie Database
- "Missoni in the Museum of Everything". Dazed Duary 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "Fashion Boss From Italy Lost in Flight Off Venezuela". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Italian fashion exec’s plane still missing". 3 News NZ. 7 January 2013.
- "Venezuelan Newspaper Reports Missing Vittorio Missoni’s Body Found". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Moss, Hilary. "Body Found Off Coast of Venezuela Unrelated to Missoni Disappearance". Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "EXPIRED LICENSE FOR MISSING MISSONI CEO'S PILOT". AP. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Hallan avioneta desaparecida en enero cuando viajaba Los Roques-Maiquetía". El Universal (in Spanish). 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Franco d'Emilio; Colleen Barry (9 May 2013). "Patriarch of fashion brand Missoni dies in Italy". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press.