At the world-before-her age of 18, Angela Missoni assisted her mother in the creation of the women’s collection for the family’s storied Missoni knitwear brand, co-founded by both her parents Tai and Rosita Missoni.
“In the late 1960’s, Benita “Binkie” Downing, the couture buyer for Neiman Marcus was presented with nothing more than colorful yarns by the young “Tai” and Rosita Missoni in Italy. So taken with their brilliant colors, she immediately made a journey to their atelier in Sumirago. Convinced their artisanal approach to knitwear was perfect for Neiman Marcus, she insisted Stanley Marcus meet the young couple. He too was enchanted, the rest is fashion history, Missoni made its debut in America hanging in the Trophy Room of Neiman Marcus in Downtown Dallas. So taken with their talent, he presented the creative couple with the “Neiman Marcus Award for Outstanding Service in the Field of Fashion” considered the Oscar of the industry in 1973,” described Ken Downing Senior Vice President/Fashion Director Neiman Marcus.
This week Angela Missoni is visiting Dallas for the third time in her life. Her first visit was as a shy 14-year-old when her parent’s received the coveted Neiman Marcus Award. “Decades later, on the anniversary of her 20-year-celebration as the Creative Director of her family’s namesake brand, Angela returns to the city that gave her parents’ fashion vision wings to receive the Fashion Group International Dallas’ Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Fashion,” Downing enthused.
Angela Missoni has gracefully upheld the timeless styling and detailing created by her parents while bringing a complete contemporary voice to Missoni as the co-owner with her brother Luca. It takes a powerful person, regardless of gender, to raise three children while maintaining the legacy and relevance of one of the most celebrated luxury brands. Fittingly, in early 2017, Missoni was inspired by the Women’s Marches taking place all over the world. With her family’s history of runway shows infused with an authoritative, international statement in the communication of trends and ideas, the Missoni heir looked to Milan as a perfect opportunity to show her solidarity.
Missoni said of the Marches, “It takes years to establish a symbol, but with today’s communication in a second it was there—the pink hats. I thought it was amazing and I wanted to be part of that March. That’s the person I am and will always be. I’ve always worked for human rights and women’s rights and the empowerment of women. I asked myself what I could do. I’m a knitter, ‘so I will knit’ I said. I checked to see if it was even possible to knit 150 berets in three weeks in time for the show, but it was and I was able to distribute the hats to everyone at the show. I wanted to get the fashion community together because I knew there was a desire and a need for us to come together for this cause.”
On February 25 this year she realized her vision. At the end of Missoni’s Milan show, models lined the runway in pink hats imbued with the celebrated zigzag pattern. Angela joined models like Gigi Hadid donned in her own hat while attendees each received one of their own.
She always has an earnest eye on the family legacy. Beyond her role as creative director of the women’s collection, she also defines the company’s style, including the men’s collection and licenses. And her collaborations with the world’s best photographer bring a contemporary slant to their fashion campaigns.
Summing up Missoni’s achievement Ken Downing says: “In an industry filled with mega brands, many owned by enormous conglomerates, and designed by a generation of creative directors with no personal attachments to its legacy, it’s heartwarming to know Missoni continues to be Tai and Rositas vision, with the addition of their daughter Angela, bringing the company into the future with her passion and untamed imagination.”