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FoundedGallarate, Lombardy, Italy (1953)
FounderRosita and Sir Ottavio Missoni
Number of locations
20 countries
Area served
Key people
Angela Missoni (Creative Director and President)
Luca Missoni
Emilio Carbonera Giani (CEO)
ProductsKnitwear, leather, cotton
ServicesFashion retail
Revenue€61.62 million (2016)
OwnerMissoni family
Number of employees
300 (2018)[1]
  • Missoni
  • Missoni Home
  • Hotel Missoni

Missoni is an Italian luxury fashion house based in Varese, and known for its colorful knitwear designs. The company was founded by Ottavio ("Tai") and Rosita Missoni in 1953.


Early beginnings[edit]

The business was founded in 1953, when Ottavio and Rosita Missoni set up a small knitwear workshop in Gallarate, Italy.[2] They presented their first collection under the Missoni label in Milan in 1958.[2] The business prospered, with the support of fashion editor Anna Piaggi, then at Arianna magazine.[2] Rosita met the French stylist Emmanuelle Khanh in New York in 1965, which led to a collaboration and a new collection the following year.[2] In April 1967, they were invited to show at the Pitti Palace in Florence.[2] Rosita told the models to remove their bras, supposedly because they were the wrong color, and showed through the thin lamé blouses. The material became transparent under the lights and caused a sensation.[2] The Missonis were not invited back the following year, but the business grew; a new factory in Sumirago was built in 1969.[2] Missoni designs were championed in the US by Diana Vreeland, editor of American Vogue, and a Missoni boutique was opened in Bloomingdales.[2]

Missoni reached the peak of its influence in the fashion world in the early 1970s (though has since been the subject of revivals in interest as new generations of fashion writers discovered the appeal of its core knitwear). Tai Missoni then became more interested in other projects, designing costumes for La Scala, carpets and tapestries.

Second generation[edit]

Rosita Missoni lost interest in fashion in the 1990s and was succeeded by her daughter Angela in 1998 while Rosita took over Missoni Home.[3]

In 1996 the Missonis transferred control of the business to their three children:[4] Vittorio Missoni became marketing director; Luca (born 1956) was menswear designer until 2008; Angela (born 1958) was womenswear designer, and took over menswear in 2008 when Luca became responsible for the Archive and Events.[5] By 2005, Missoni earned 60 to 70 percent of its revenue from womenswear.[6] From 2007 until 2009, Massimo Gasparini briefly served as the company's CEO, setting up a new organizational structure and streamlining its product offer.[7][8]

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, there were long queues outside stores and the Target website was overloaded. Some items appeared at higher prices on eBay within hours and Target did not restock.[9]

Death of Vittorio Missoni[edit]

On 4 January 2013 a plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, then CEO of Missoni, went missing off the coast of Venezuela.[10] On 27 June 2013, the Venezuelan government announced that remains of the aircraft had been found north of Los Roques archipelago.[11] Vittorio's body was recovered along with those of the other passengers.

From 2013, designer Patricia Urquiola was responsible for redesigning the label’s stores.[12][13] In February 2014, Angela Missoni hired Rossella Jardini, former creative director of Moschino, as a consultant.[14]

2018 sale[edit]

In 2018, the Missoni family sold a 41.2% stake in the company to investment fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) for €70 million ($82 million).[15][16] In 2021, Angela Missoni was succeeded at the helm of the women’s line by Alberto Caliri.[17]


A Missoni coat and dress in 2010
A temporary promotional design by two iconic Italian brands: a Pellegrino mineral water bottle with a Missoni-style label, 2010

M Misssoni[edit]

M Missoni, a less expensive line, was introduced in 1998 and initially manufactured and distributed by Marzotto.[2] Margherita Maccapani Missoni, granddaughter of Rosita Missoni, served as the label's creative director from 1998 until 2021.[18]

In 2012, Missoni M launched its first accessories collection.[19] Missoni later brought the M Missoni line in-house in April 2018, selecting Italian manufacturing company Gilmar SpA as a production partner for the line. This followed the expiration of the licensing agreement with Valentino Fashion Group, which had first been signed in 2005.[20]

By 2019, M Missoni’s sales amounted to around 30 million euros.[21] Also in 2019, Margherita Missoni presented her first full collection as the label's creative director.[22]

Hotel Missoni[edit]

In November 2005, Missoni and the Rezidor Hotel Group signed an agreement to create Hotel Missoni, with plans to have 30 hotels open or in development by 2012.[23] Two Hotel Missoni branches eventually opened in Edinburgh (2009) and Kuwait City (2011).[24] The hotel agreement ceased in 2014, and the Edinburgh hotel was rebranded as Radisson Collection.[25]

Other activities[edit]

Missoni brands have included Missoni Sport, which was initially licensed out, brought in-house in January 2002 and was eventually discontinued in 2007.[2][26]

Missoni Home has its roots in furnishing fabrics produced in 1981 in collaboration with Rosita's family firm.[2] The company launched its first perfume in 1982,[2] although the license is now held by Estée Lauder.[citation needed]

In 2017, Missoni Baia, Missoni's first venture into residential real estate development, broke ground in Miami, Florida. The 249 unit complex will be completed by the end of 2020.[27]

In 2018, Missoni and Safilo entered into a five-year global licensing agreement for the production and distribution of prescription eyewear and sunglass collections for both the main label and M Missoni.[28] In 2019, the company signed a global licensing agreement for the design, production and distribution of watches with Timex Group.[29]


Over the years, Missoni has commissioned various notable photographers for its ad campaigns, including Juergen Teller (2010)[30] and Alasdair McLellan (2013).[31]

Sponsoring and philanthropy[edit]

In 2017, Jennifer Lopez teamed up with Missoni along with Women's Cancer Research Fund and Saks Fifth Avenue to set a fund raise for cancer research. Lopez helped promote the $35 limited-edition Missoni tees, and the profits went to 12 different cancer charities.[32]


  1. ^ Giulia Segreti and Claudia Cristoferi (June 15, 2018), Cash injection from state-backed fund to fuel Missoni expansion Reuters.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Missoni History". Pilaeo Magazine. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. ^ Suzy Menkes (2 December 2003). "Missoni's family mosaic". International Herald Tribune. London. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Vittorio Missoni biography". The Biography Channel. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Missoni catwalk show at the V&A". Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  6. ^ Robert Galbraith (January 20, 2005), Putting the accent on dressing down New York Times.
  7. ^ Amanda Kaiser (May 29, 2007), Missoni CEO to Pilot Major Changes Women's Wear Daily.
  8. ^ Luisa Zargani (November 3, 2009), Gasparini Leaves Missoni Women's Wear Daily.
  9. ^ Sandra M. Jones (13 September 2011). Target hits it big with Missoni collection: Demand dries up 6-week supply in 1 day. Chicago Tribune. Accessed May 2014.
  10. ^ Eric Wilson (5 January 2013). "Fashion Boss From Italy Lost in Flight Off Venezuela". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Hallan avioneta desaparecida en enero cuando viajaba Los Roques-Maiquetía". El Universal (in Spanish). 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  12. ^ Alessandra Turra (April 11, 2013), Missoni Unveils New Flagship Concept Women's Wear Daily
  13. ^ Ali Morris (February 2, 2015), Missoni weaves a bold new design direction into its rue Saint-Honoré Paris store Wallpaper.
  14. ^ Luisa Zargani (25 February 2014). "Rossella Jardini to Lend a Hand at Missoni". WWD. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  15. ^ Pietro Lombardi (June 15, 2018), Italian Fashion House Missoni Sells 41.2% Stake for €70 Million Wall Street Journal.
  16. ^ Giulia Segreti (June 15, 2018), Italian state-backed fund to buy 41.2 pct stake of fashion house Missoni Reuters.
  17. ^ Alessandra Turra (July 28, 2021), Missoni Wants You to Live in Colors Women's Wear Daily.
  18. ^ Rysman, Laura (25 September 2019). "Margherita Maccapani Missoni Takes on a New Challenge, by Looking Back". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  19. ^ Merle Ginsberg (May 29, 2012), M Missoni to Launch First Accessories Line The Hollywood Reporter.
  20. ^ Luisa Zargani (March 18, 2021), CEO Talks: Missoni’s Livio Proli on Reorganization, Freezing M Missoni Line Women's Wear Daily.
  21. ^ Luisa Zargani (March 18, 2021), CEO Talks: Missoni’s Livio Proli on Reorganization, Freezing M Missoni Line Women's Wear Daily.
  22. ^ Carola Long (September 20, 2019), Fendi and M Missoni offer feel good clothes Financial Times.
  23. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award for Kurt Ritter at European Hospitality Awards 2012". The Rezidor Hotel Group. Retrieved 25 January 2016.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Luisa Zargani ( May 18, 2011), Hotel Missoni Set to Open in Kuwait City Women's Wear Daily.
  25. ^ Graham Smith (3 March 2014). "Carlson Rezidor and Missoni Tie Up". BusinessTraveler.
  26. ^ Amanda Kaiser (May 29, 2007), Missoni CEO to Pilot Major Changes Women's Wear Daily.
  27. ^ "Edgewater's Missoni Baia condo tower begins its 649-foot climb". Curbed.com. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  28. ^ Luisa Zargani (December 19, 2018), Missoni, Safilo Ink Eyewear Licensing Agreement Women's Wear Daily.
  29. ^ Martino Carrera (December 4, 2019), Missoni Signs Watch License With Timex Women's Wear Daily.
  30. ^ Carola Long (February 7, 2010), Missoni accomplished The Independent.
  31. ^ Alessandra Turra (February 6, 2013), Missoni to Mark 60th Anniversary With Campaign Women's Wear Daily.
  32. ^ "Jennifer Lopez Teams Up With Missoni and Saks Fifth Avenue for Women's Cancer Research Fund". PEOPLE.com. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.

Further reading[edit]