Ottavio and Rosita Missoni now Angela Missoni
Missoni is a Milan-based fashion house in Italy founded by Rosita and Ottavio (better known as Tai) Missoni, famous for unique ready-to-wear knits.
Missoni exemplifies success in a specific fashion area, knitwear for men and women. In the knitwear business since 1953, the business begun by Ottavio (Tai) and Rosita Missoni took off with recognition by Anna Piaggi in 1965 and was one of the landmark enterprises of the Italian renaissance in postwar fashion products through the 1960s and 1970s. In 1968 and 1969, Missoni garnered worldwide attention for knit dresses, coats, and sweaters that revived the sensational appeal of knits in the 1920s. From a start in producing the finest knits, the Missoni repertory came to include pullovers, long coats, chemises, trousers, and skirts. Even more, in the 1970s, the Missonis' deliberate allegiance to Milan heralded that city's eminence as a fashion center and helped create Milan fashion week.
In 1997 Angela took the reins of the company and over the next few years increased brand awareness through a wide range of licensing, from rugs to footwear. New flagships in New York and Paris were opened, while a new bridge line, M Missoni, was introduced for spring-summer 1999. By the early 2000s, Missoni was more than a vital force in knitwear; the firm had gone far beyond its founders' original vision to encompass Missoni designs for an entire lifestyle.
Aside from the main Missoni line, the company has diversified into 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 Est�e Lauder.
In November 2005, Missoni and RezidorSAS Hospitality signed an agreement to open a lifestyle hotel chain of the same name: Hotel Missoni. In March 2006, the first Missoni locations were announced for Kuwait City, Edinburgh, and Dubai. Hotel Missoni Kuwait will be the group's first property in the world, opening in a luxury mixed-use development on the seafront in the third quarter of 2007. The Edinburgh property will open in late 2008, while the Dubai hotel will debut at the end of 2008.
Ottavio and Rosita like to be called artisans because they developed their business by dreaming up colourful designs, mostly influenced by folk art. First they started with stripes, the easiest design which could be made with the ch. They use up to twenty different fabrics, including wool, cotton, linen, rayon and silk and some 40 different colours for each of their collections. Their clothes range from sweaters to skirts, dresses and jackets. Ottavio Missoni has also diversified from clothes to tapestries and carpets.
Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone, Jessica Parker, Nicole Richie, Debra Messing, and Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Ashley Judd, Julia Roberts