Rosita Missoni

Ottavio and Rosita MissoniMissoni “elevated knitted clothes to a form of art” wrote Bernadine Morris of the New York Times in March 1979. By then, the company that was founded by Rosita and her husband, Ottavio (Tai) in 1953 was at the forefront of Italian fashion design, renowned internationally for the use of color, pattern,  and the finest materials. Attention was first given to the brand in 1965 in articles written by the famous  Italian fashion journalist, Anna Piaggi. But, it was Diana Vreeland’s enthusiasm for Missoni that launched them in the US and around the world.  A Missioni boutique opened in Bloomingdales, and soon Missoni was receiving international design awards.  Today, Missoni’s innovative and stylish designs are worn by Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Ashley Judd and Madonna and shoppers at discount chain Target. Missoni’s limited-designer collection for Target sold out in less than a day, a promotion that was supposed to last for six weeks.  Rosita Missoni at 80 years old, looking for new challenges, is developing a Missoni hotel brand, while her daughters and granddaughter are expanding the fashion company into Asian markets, and revitalizing the lines for today’s younger market.