Rosita Missoni’s Garden of Happiness

Rosita Missoni: Photo credit Federico Ciamei

What I remember most from seeing mother and daughter from the fashion House Missoni  interviewed a year ago at the 92nd Street Y was that the Missoni family literally designs their reality by living and working together in one beautiful spot near Milan, Northern Italy. This model that the Missoni’s have created is a rare thing in today’s world of fashion design. Now, one year later, Missoni matriarch, Rosita Missoni, is 85 years old and is still living and blooming from her family home and factory. Her love of color and vibrancy spreads well beyond her clothing designs, as she collects vegetables and flowers from her own gardens and shares them with family and friends. This is how she keeps herself vital. Says Rosita Missoni:  “I’ve been passionately dedicated to my career, so it’s never worn me out. I live in the kind of beautiful place where my husband and I wanted to spend our weekends. I have my children close by, and friends that come visit on Sundays.” Rosita Missoni: living a life of true creativity, love, and inspiration.

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“The Passion for Fashion Comes from the Missoni Women”

Outside the 92nd St Y, Fashion Icon Conversation with host, Fern Mallis

Outside the 92nd St Y, Fashion Icon Conversation Conversation with the Missoni’s – wearing my Missoni for Target tee: Photo credit, Linda Colarusso

The passion for fashion comes from the Missoni women.” ~ Angela Missoni

It was the second time I had spent an evening at the 92nd Street Y in NY, in the audience of Fern Mallis’s Fashion Icon Series (the first conversation was an interview with Barney’s Creative Ambassador at Large, Simon Doonan).  Last night, I witnessed a warm and wonderful conversation with the two powerhouse women behind the Italian brand, Missoni: matriarch Rosita, and her daughter, Angela. A fashion icon herself, Fern Mallis, knew what to ask of these remarkable women, in order to tell the true story of Missoni. Here is what I now know:

Rosita Missoni is now 84, born under the sign Scorpio. Rosita met Ottavio Missoni when she was just 16 years old (he was 27) in London; he was an Olympic athlete – track and field. Then, and now, Rosita Missoni follows the signs and is somewhat superstitious. When she saw Ottavia’s number (3-3-1) on his track uniform she knew it was a good sign – 7 was her lucky number. She fell in love with him at Picadilly Circus in London, under the Statue of Eros (cupid) and to this day she wears a cupid necklace around her neck. Rosita grew up reading fashion magazines and says she learned a lot about patterns and style from those magazines.

Angela Missoni is 57, the youngest child of Rosita and Ottavio, and the only girl. She was there for the very first Missoni fashion show in 1965 and has been to every fashion show since. She describes herself as late bloomer and a silent observer, and says that it took her a while to find her path. She always knew she wanted to be a mother at a young age, and had her three children: Margherita, Francesco, and Teresa, before she seriously contemplated joining the family business. Continue reading

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Creative Ambassador at Large …

Simon Doonan  - Photo Credit: Getty Images

Simon Doonan – Photo Credit: Getty Images

… of the New York store, Barney’s. That is Simon Doonan. Cheeky, charming Simon Doonan. Last night I was lucky to be in the audience in NYC at the 92nd Street Y for his interview with Fern Mallis, as part of her ongoing series, Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis. Simon has written a book called The Asylum, which he describes as a love valentine to the fashion industry and its crazy but ever-so-fiercely loyal community. Continue reading

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