Ottavio Missoni Dies: Italian Designer Made No-Bra Look Famous

Image: Ottavio Missoni Dies: Italian Designer Made No-Bra Look Famous

Thursday, 09 May 2013 10:25 AM

By Newsmax Wires

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A founder of one of the most well-known Italian brands, who made the no-bra look famous and revolutionized textile patterns with its trademark bold stripes and zig-zag patterns, Ottavio Missoni, has died.

The founder of the global fashion empire, Ottavio Missoni, was 92 when he died Thursday, a company spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll

Ottavio Missoni, who commonly went by "Tai," died during the night in the northern town of Sumirago, at the family home next to the company's factory, a spokesperson said. He had been recently hospitalized for heart problems.

"When I think of Missoni, I like to paraphrase a song by Mina: 'colors, colors, colors'," Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia in one of many tributes.

Pisapia, likening Missoni's designs to a rainbow, praised his cheerful disposition and said the company had made a major contribution to raising the global profile of all things made in Italy.

Missoni, who was born of Italian parents in what is now Dubrovnik, Croatia, founded the company with his wife Rosita, whom he met while competing in the 1948 London Olympics, where he ran the 400 meters hurdles.

His promising early athletic career was interrupted by World War II. Ottavio, fighting on the Italian side in the Battle of El Alamein, was captured by the British and held as a prisoner of war for four years in Egypt.

"He likes to poke fun (at the English), saying that he was a guest of His Majesty the King of Britain," Rosita said during an interview with Reuters last May, in which Ottavio also took part.

"I started running again with the little that was left in me because naturally, after four years as a prisoner of war I was not in top physical form, but I must have had something left in me and I won the Italian (4 X 400) title and was chosen to go to the Olympics," he said.

The pair married in 1953 and made track suits in a small workshop near Rosita's home village, and later presented their first knitwear collection in Milan in 1958, just at the beginning of what came to be known as Italy's economic miracle.

"We started making a profit after 10 years of activity," Ottavio said, "and that day I felt like the richest man in the world."

Their designs caught the attention of a fashion world that was turning away from high fashion towards "ready-to-wear" styles and they made a high-profile collaboration in 1965 with designer Emmanuelle Kahn.

"We tried to break the rules...we lived in very favorable times because it was the beginning of what then came to be called Pret-a-Porter," Rosita said.

The Missonis tore up the rule book in 1967 with what become known as the "battle of the bras".

Rosita had told models to remove their bras before sending them onto the runway at a major show in Florence so that the colors of the bras would not show through the knitwear.

But the bright lights at the shows made the outfits transparent. The Missonis were not invited back but the incident became a cause celebre and soon afterwards Missoni appeared on the covers of international fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire.

The brand is now a dynasty that designs everything from sweaters to sheets to hotels.

The founders' children and several grandchildren took over managing the company in 1996, aiming to relaunch the brand and attract a larger, younger market as rivals Gucci and Burberry have done.

The family's oldest son, company head of marketing Vittorio Missoni, is believed to have died in January when a small plane that was also carrying his wife and four others disappeared off the coast of Venezuela while they were on holiday.

Today, the company Ottavio and Rosita founded on a shoestring budget has more than 250 employees. In 2011, the company's revenue was upwards of 150 million euros ($197.60 million).

ALERT: Government ‘Blunder’ Spawns Massive Profit Opportunity

Related stories:


Ralph Lauren Bribery Case: Retailer Pays $1.6M To Settle Argentina Charge


Target's Blunder With Designer Missoni Continues


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved