Missoni is a house with history. Originally founded in 1953 when Ottavio and Rosita Missoni set up a small knitwear workshop in Northern Italy. In the years that followed, fashion editors and stylists supported the brand and Missoni was invited to show their collection at Pitti Palace in 1967. They were not invited back because the Missonis had the models remove their bras as to not obscure the delicacy of the fabric. Missoni has its roots in the 70s and this is significant for their history as a brand that remains devoted to the themes of this decade today. Since then, the house has only been led by family members. Missoni has introduced various categories, diffusion lines, hotels, and collaborated successfully with Target. Angela Missoni, Ottavia and Rosita’s daughter, took over as creative director in 1998.
The brand is synonymous with colorful, geometric patterns. It’s impossible to misidentify a Missoni piece. And Angela really brought the house to another level by introducing a glamour component to the bohemian concept. Mario Testino shot Gisele Bündchen for campaigns giving the brand the IT factor it needed to compete on a larger, international platform. At at time when fashion brands were beginning to understand, digital influence, and the importance of lifestyle in context of their clothing. Angela’s daughter, Margherita Missoni became a sort unplanned face of the brand as she traveled the world studying, and acting. She radiated beauty and encompassed the bohemian spirit of the brand. Margherita currently oversees accessories and swimwear for the brand and it has been noted in the press she is Angela’s likely successor..
I have always appreciated the brand for its tradition and commitment to aesthetic. As houses with the same amount of history have re-branded and overhauled their image, Missoni has managed to stay relevant and successful while maintaining the inherent Missoni-ness we all love, even if new ideas are not always presented in their collections. The iconic, larger-than-life knitwear collections feel comforting in an industry where it has become the norm for creative directors to infuse their ideas into a brand and leave after 3-4 years. Who knows, really, how Missoni would have been impacted if they had hired an outsider, but I really don’t care to find out. (In 2014, Angela hired a consultant for the brand from Moschino.) The stability and sense of family in this brand is unique and as someone inundated with fashion news and who’s coming and going, I appreciate the fact that Missoni has trust in the loyalty of their customer.
The Fall 2016 collection was stunning and oozed 70s romantic luxe that has full circled once again as a trend for the season. The Spring 2016 collection trickles into stores, the fitted striped polos, short shorts, tunics, dresses, and wide leg pants all feature the cheerful, zigzagging, bohemian spirit we love about Missoni. Angela has more than proven herself as able to re-imagine Missoni, especially over the past three seasons, and is not intimidated by the current fashion climate and remains more inspired than ever. It may be what we’ve come to expect, but really, what’s so bad about that?