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Missoni is an Italian fashion label that is known for its zigzag patterns in contrasting autumnal colors. Once virtually unknown outside of fashionista circles, Missoni has become a household name due to its involvement in the 2010 season of America's Next Top Model and its 2011 collaboration with Target.
Ottavio Missoni and his wife Rosita started their label in 1953 when they opened a small knitwear shop. They were successful immediately, presenting a full runway show at Milan Fashion Week in 1958. The Missonis got a big break when the New York style mavens discovered their clothing in 1965. They were able to capitalize on minor controversies and ongoing commercial success by finally opening a boutique in New York in 1969.
The 1970s were the label's peak years in terms of couture influence. Ottavio and Rosita's daughter Angela took over the company in 1998, though Rosita is still involved in projects from time to time. All three of the Missoni's children are active designers for the label. This makes the Missoni house incredibly unique among all of the other major fashion houses. Many of the collections from other design houses are no longer designed by their founders.
Missoni's clothing is always colorful, even when the tones are generally neutral. The autumn collections always include luxurious coats and sweaters that manage to be both fluffy and slimming. The summer gowns are fluttery and feathery. Unlike other design houses whose clothing serves more as art pieces than as wearable clothing, Missoni's collections are designed to be worn by active people who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Missoni's signature patterns are often imitated by mass retailers because they are associated with high fashion. Missoni would not slap zigzags on tube dresses. Its designs are complex, architectural and evocative of true European decadence.