Ottavio Missoni, co-founder of design house Missoni, famous for revolutionising textile patterns with its trademark bold stripes and zig-zag patterns, died in Sumirago, Italy. A Missoni statement said he “passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family”.
He set up the Italian fashion house in 1953 and quickly founded its colourful geometric knits as the brand’s trademark. Their designs caught the interest of a fashion world that was turning away from high fashion towards “ready-to-wear” styles and they made a prominent collaboration with designer Emmanuelle Kahn in 1965.
The founders’ children and several grandchildren began managing the company in 1996, aiming to relaunch the brand and appeal to a larger, younger market as rivals Gucci and Burberry have done. The family brand designs everything from sweaters to carpets to hotels.
This is the second tragedy that has hit the Missoni family this year. In January the family’s oldest son, Vittorio, was missing along with his wife, when a small plane they were travelling on disappeared over the coast of Venezuela. As yet, the couple is still missing, presumed dead.
Today, the company Ottavio and Rosita founded employs about 250 people and in 2011 had an income of more than 150 million euros ($197.60 million).