Italian Fashion: Missoni

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Video Transcript

Angel Missoni, Creative Director of Missoni

Missoni has a very long history for a fashion house, which is still active from the beginning until now.  And I remember myself, I’ve seen the last fashion show my parents put on stage in La Sala Bianca in Florence, which was the winter of 1970, the famous put together collection. 

Ithink what makes Missoni special, it’s really what my parents invented.  They invented a language with a very rich vocabulary.  And my job today, it’s actually to update that vocabulary.  And it’s their way of living, the choice of their life, their lifestyle.  And also the fact that we are here today and the factory is here in the country outside Milan, 40 kilometres from Milan, and we are living here, all the production is done here. Coming to work, it’s really another part of our home.

Missoni in itself, it’s almost its own district because we start from the wool yarn or from the cotton yarn or the basic yarn, we’ll have it dyed for ourselves and we’ll then have it used in all the different ways you can use the yarn. And it’s kind of rare I must think, to see a company where you find the design area ‘til the end of the production and you can see all the passage. And it’s also very rare to see a company in the hand of the same family for more than 60 years.

So Italy, the government has never really pushed fashion, has never really just took the advantage of the fact that it’s really giving a very good image for the country, that it’s doing a lot of good business export for the country.  But the business itself has never been really supported. We know that sometimes we have to make the double of the effort to get certain results but this is the best country in the world. But that’s maybe also because Italy, it’s a country of individualist and I remember even my parents, they were saying, “We are doing everything ourself.”

I imagine the future for Milan like really being an international hub for fashion. I don’t think that the fact that the fashion world became more global in the past 20 years and that emerging markets are coming and are changing will change the fact that the way we design the clothes, Italians design the clothes.  I think they design the clothes for what they think it’s the best and we are aspirational for other countries, they want to be dressed like Italian dress.

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“They [the emerging markets] want to dress like Italians", says Angela Missoni of the eponymous Italian fashion house known for its innovative way with pattern and textiles. In this interview, Missoni considers the origins of the company, its self-sufficient approach to manufacturing, and how she keeps 60 years of Italian design heritage relevant to the modern world.