The founder of Missoni died peacefully at home in Italy
Ottavio Missoni, who founded the Missoni fashion label with his wife Rosita, has died at the age of 92.
The fashion dynasty patriarch passed away peacefully at his home in Sumirago, Italy.
Ottavio, who was known as Tai, began his career as an Olympic hurdler and his met his future wife during his time with the Italian track team at the London Games in 1948 – even making knitted tracksuits that were worn by members of his team. She was a student spectator at the event and the pair met at a lunch organised by the Italians.
Five years later and with Ottavio retired from athletics, the couple married in Golasecca in northern Italy before settling in Gallarate and setting up a small knitwear workshop where the Missoni label was born.
The couple showed their debut collection in 1958 and the Missoni brand began to grow, eventually becaming famous around the world for its signature colourful geometric knits and zig-zag patterns.
Three generations of the Missoni family now work for the business. While wife Rosita still oversees the company’s homeware projects, and granddaughter Margherita heads up the accessories department, the label is now run by Ottavio’s children Angela, Luca and, until recently, Vittorio. His 58-year-old son and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni went missing off the coast of Venezuela in January whilst flying in a small aircraft. The search continues for the couple and the plane’s four other passengers.
Ottavio Missoni, fashion designer, 1921 – 2013.