As the son of a sea captain and a countess, Ottavio Missoni had the creative dreams on which empires are built. Missoni was born in Yugoslavia in 1921 and became a star athlete. He participated in the 1948 Olympic Games in London, where he met his future wife and partner, Rosita, whose family owned a textile business in northern Italy.
Together, the couple formed the company Missoni in 1953, setting up shop in Gallarate, in Lombardy. Although he previously designed sports suits, he and his wife switched to knitwear dresses with their signature zigzag pattern. Its first collection was presented in Milan in 1958. The company’s popularity grew, and in 1967, the couple was asked to present a collection at the Pitti Palace in Florence. Due to a creative argument, this was Missoni’s only showing at the palace. Its reputation and product line, however, captured the attention of Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue. Soon after, the Missoni boutique was opened at Bloomingdale’s.
Its first fragrance, Missoni, was introduced in 1982. As of 2014, Ottavio and Rosita’s granddaughter oversees the Missoni fragrance collection, which has a base of 13 scents. The latest are from the Missoni Colori line, released in 2008
Ottavio Missoni died at age 92 in May 2013. Sadly, his eldest son, Vittorio, CEO of the Missoni empire, was reported lost in a plane off the coast of Venezuela in January of the same year.
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