• Solange McKenzie

Missoni: Masters of Bold and Colorful Knits

Missoni is an Italian luxury brand founded by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. Most famous for its knitwear that features colorful, zigzag patterns. Missoni started as a small knitwear shop in Italy but grew after they first presented in 1958 in Milan. Shortly after Missoni gained the support of Arianna Piaggi, a fashion editor who continued to help the brand grow tremendously. While Rosita was in New York in 1965, she met Emmanuelle Khanh, a French stylist, this connection led to a collaboration between the two for a collection which released the following year. The growth of Missoni led to them receiving an invitation to show in Milan at Pitti Palace in 1967. However, this would be the first and last time. While in preparation for their presentation, Rosita told the models to remove their bras, as they did not work with the garments. Once under the lights, the shirts became see-through and this sparked controversy which caused the brand to not be invited back. For most, this would have hurt their brands but not Missoni. They became more popular and even Yves Saint Laurent was inspired to show a sheer collection the next year.

Gigi Hadid for Missoni, Winter 2018

In the 70’s era, Missoni reached their peak. It was known as “the epitome of cool girl fashion”. Once brought to the United States by American Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland Missoni opened a boutique in the retail store, Bloomingdales. However, the buzz and popularity began to fade on Missoni. Ottavio and Rosita decided to pursue other ventures along with the fact that, Knitwear was phasing out. Angela Missoni, their daughter, took over the company, breathing life back into brand and Rosita went on to create Missoni home.

Michelle Obama in Missoni

Due to a resurgence of knitwear, the Missoni brand has remained relevant . In 2011, Target announced a collaboration with Missoni which sold out in less than 24 hours. Missoni has also partnered with Jennifer Lopez to raise money for a Women’s Cancer Awareness fund along with Saks Fifth Avenue and the Women’s Cancer Research Fund. Over the years Missoni has been seen on many celebrities, some of which are: the late Micheal Jackson, Meryl Streep, Michelle Obama and Gigi Hadid; who has modeled for their Winter 2018 collection.

-Solange McKenzie

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