The press enjoyed Moschino and often labelled him "Mr. Funny Court Jester" or “Ragazzo" or “the Bad Boy of fashion”.
Franco Moschino was born in 1950 in Abbiategrasso, a small industrial town, 14 miles from Milan. He took refuge from provincial boredom by drawing, encouraged by his mother. His father, who later died when Franco was 4 years old, ran an iron foundry and Franco would arrange the heavy deposits of dust on the floor into patterns.
Moschino went to the Accademia di Belle Arte in Milan in 1967 and though he wanted to be an artist, he was diverted into the world of fashion. To finance his studies he started doing fashion designs and illustration commissions for fashion houses and magazines. He graduated in 197l.
From 1971 till 1977 his work caught the eye of Gianni Versace who was creating collections for various Italian ready-to-wear houses. Moschino drew for their publicity campaigns.
1977 Moschino was appointed designer to Italian company Cadette, a position he held till 1982. He also gained experience by working as a free-lance designer to Italian ready-to-wear companies.
In 1983 he founded his own company called Moonshadow and launched Moschino Couture. His first show was packed with Milan's wildest groupies, who went crazy as his surrealist variations on fashion were paraded down the runway. By his second show, he was internationally known for his highly provocative and irreverent style, to the anger of Milan's established designers.
In 1986 his first menswear collection appears.
1988 Cheap and Chic range is introduced, along with fake-fur "For Fun" range.
Following by a first opening of a Moschino boutique in Milan in 1989.
In 1993 he holds an exhibition to celebrate his tenth anniversary which takes place in Milan.
Moschino launches Ecouture in 1994, an ecological collection using environmentally friendly fabrics and dyes.
In 1994 Moschino dies of a heart attack at age 44. Since his death his business has continued and even flourished, under the direction of friend and collaborator Rossella Jardini who joined him in 1981. The Moschino foundation, a charity set up to help HIV positive children, continues it's work, fulfilling Moschino's wishes.
Moschino is a part of the Aeffe fashion group and a designer and manufacturer of women's and men's fashion. It was originally created in 1983 by the late Francisco Moschino, and is well known for its "classico con twist", classical twist. The current head of design, Rosella Jardini, has been trying recently to tone down the humorous attitude established during the time of Francisco Moschino.
The brand consists of the two labels Moschino and Moschino Cheap & Chic, the latter being a more publicly available version of the former. There is also a menswear collection produced under the name Moschino.
Moschino's fresh, new approach provided light relief. It sent up high glamour and sophistication of fellow designers and made fun of their high prices. He was zany, iconoclastic and always ready to shock with an outrageous idea, but his clothes were wearable and cut to the highest standards. He was an expert tailor and liked to make visual puns. He created a dinner suit with a knife and fork appliquéd on the bodice, his blazers had windmills for buttons. His polka dot Minnie Mouse dresses were very popular. The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, held an exhibition called "Fashion - Italian Style" from February to April 2003. Franco Moschino was brilliantly represented by his surrealistic bra dress and a skirt entirely composed of bio-degradable grocery bags. Chanel once sued him for spoofing a perfume on a T-shirt.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Silverstone, Anna Friel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Zara Philips, daughter of Princess Anne, and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, wore a Moschino dress, to the wedding on April 9th of her uncle Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his long time love Camilla.