the designers

She was born Maria Carmen Nustrizio Schon in Dalmatia. After moving to Milan and well into her thirties, she decides to enter the world of high fashion. All she knew about it until then was that she enjoyed wearing the dresses which she was used to buying in Paris. She was initially a customer of Balenciaga and she gained her love of couture, by wearing his clothes.

This charming and elegant lady of aristocratic origins had no cutting or sewing experience but with a small group of able workers she set up a workshop in Milan in 1958. The first soberly cut coats and dresses were produced and their refined touch was not missed by the elegant Milanese women. In January 1965, at the invitation of Giovan Battista Giorgini, Mila Schön presents her first collection at Florence's Palazzo Pitti. It was well received in Italy and the USA. A year later she opens her Milan boutique on Via Montenapoleone in an antique palazzo, once the residence of the Italian poet Carlo Porta. The future holds international recognition in store for her and the Florence show is only the first in a series of successes.

The enthusiasm of a buyer from the fabled department store Neiman Marcus takes her to the United States where she presented her collections in Houston and Dallas and is awarded the Fashion Oscar for Colour in 1967.

At the end of the decade, Mila Schön is offering dresses which were compared to works of art such as those by Josef Albers, Calder and Fontana.

In 1971 Mila Schön launches her men's line and the same year sees the birth of the women ready-to-wear collections. This latter line has a wider public in mind but no less demanding. And before the end of the decade the men's ready-to wear collections will also be launched.

In January 1990 Mila Schön is celebrating her 50th high fashion show with a collection whose prints are inspired to the world of William Morris.

A couple of years later a new line of accessories is launched, including handbags, foulards and shoes. Mila Schon also designs uniforms for airlines and has made for Alitalia in 1969 and Iran Air in 1972. She made uniforms for the Milan Soccer team and the clothes worn by the Italian national team for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

On Thurday, 4th Septemper Mila Schon died. The cause of her death was not reported.

The Look

Essentially a classic designer of dresses, suits and eveningwear, Schon, though not as well known as many of her colleagues, is one of the most respected names in Italian fashion and is noted for her sophisticated style and precise tailoring. Schon's favourite fabric was double-faced wool and this white suit represents her design signature. She was a perfectionist who worked within a classical structure, to exacting specifications and she created modernist garments. Her evening gowns take on a growing importance in her successive collections. They include some embroidered in white and silver, those with Gobelin motifs, and those of Persian inspiration.


1981 Mila Schon (W)
1986 Mila Schon Uomo (W)
1990 Haute Couture (W)
1997 Schon (W)
1990's Y-10 Avenue (W)
2005 Mila Schön (W) relaunched
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