Missoni co-founder, Ottavio Missoni, dies aged 92

Ottavio Missoni, the founding member of the Italian fashion house Missoni, has died aged 92. A statement said that he "passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family", in the northern town of Sumirago, Italy.

Ottavio, commonly known by his nickname 'Tai', set up the Milan-based fashion label – famous for revolutionising textile patterns with its trademark bold stripes and zig-zag patterns – in 1953 with his wife Rosita.

 

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As a young man Ottavio represented Italy as a hurdler at the 1948 Olympic Games, competing as a member of the 400-metre hurdles team.

That was the same year that the knitted tracksuits he had designed himself were adopted by the Italian team, where he met his wife, and where his fashion dynasty was born.

The Missoni brand began with colourful geometric knits that the pair put together in a small workshop near Rosita's home village. They later presented their first knitwear collection in Milan in 1958 in what was their first big step towards becoming the fashion empire they have developed today.

 



Although it took ten years to start making profit, the famous fashion house currently boasts 40 shops around the world and has branched into homeware and even hotels, putting their colourful signature stamp on boutique hotels in Scotland and Dubai.

Family has always been at the heart of the brand, becoming a visual element since 2010 when photographer Juergen Teller began capturing the family through the lens for their ad campaigns.

Three generations are now involved in the business, with Ottavio and Rosita's two children Angela, Luca working for the brand. Their eldest son Vittorio also ran the company until he disappeared off the coast of Venezuela, along with his wife Maurizia Castiglioni.

 



The couple were among six people, also including two of their friends and two Venezuelan crew members, on board the flight from the archipelago of Los Roques towards Caracas' Maiquetia airport. The small, twin-engine aircraft disappeared in January and has not been traced since.

Ottavio and Rosita's granddaughter Margherita is the label’s ambassador and designs the brand’s accessories.

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