Rosita Missoni

ITALY (1932)

From tracksuit designer to international fashion house doyenne, Rosita Missoni is proprietor of one of the most widely recognized couture brands of this and the 20th century. It all started in a tiny Milan workshop with her design and newlywed partner Ottavio Missoni. When the young Italians met at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, he as 400-meter gold medalist of (and tracksuit designer to) Team Italia and she as a spectator, it wasn’t only a match of affections. The couple formed a mutual partnership in Ottavio’s newly launched tracksuit business, and it wasn’t long before they lapped beyond tracksuits into knitwear.

Rosita Missoni was born in 1932 in a small Italian village in Varese, daughter and granddaughter to owners of an embroidered fabric manufactory. Preferring to be called an artisan over a fashion designer, Missoni draws her influence from the rich colors and patterns of folk art. Her approach to design has been to dream up colorful striped patterns and to blend multiple fabric types into one garment. The company Missoni, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2013, has expanded into home and wearable accessories and now employs a staff of 200 that includes the couple’s three children. She has chosen to keep operations close to home in Sumirago, Varese, where her creative spark first ignited at her family’s embroidery workshop.

In 2005, Missoni collaborated with Paulo Mendes da Rocha, designer of the Paulistano Armchair, to create a limited-edition cover. The Missoni Cover is a reversible floral and striped pattern available only at DWR.

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