Designer Ottavio Missoni Dies At 92

Ottavio Missoni, founder of Italian fashion label Missoni, died in his northern Italian home Thursday. He was 92 years old.

Missoni SpA issued a statement saying that Missoni “passed away serenely” in his his home in the town of Sumirago, which is also home to the company’s headquarters. According to Italian media, Missoni was treated last week for a respiratory problem.

Missoni and his wife, Rosita Jelmini, founded Missoni in 1953. The couple’s three children are also involved in the family business: daughter Angela was originally the womenswear designer, but took over menswear beginning with the Fall/Winter 2008/2009 collection; son Luca became the head Creative Director/Director after that. Eldest son Vittorio was the Marketing Director.

Sadly, Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, as well as four others, disappeared after taking off from a resort in Los Roques, an archipelago 80 miles north off the coast of Venezuela. After three days of searching, there was no sign of the six missing people. The cause of the disappearance has yet to be explained, but Italy’s national air safety agency said the owner of the plane did not have a certificate to operate. The pilot’s license had also expired in November 2012.

Vittorio had a hand in marketing Missoni to Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

Ottavio Missoni was born February 11, 1921 in what is now Dubrovnik, Croatia. Missoni often said he ended up in the fashion industry practically by accident — Jelmini’s family owned a textile factory and produced shawls. When Missoni and Jelmini first founded their company, they produced athletic wear — Missoni was a former track-and-field star and competed in the 1948 Olympics. It was during the Olympics that he met Rosita, and the two were married in Italy. The couple developed intricate machinery that enabled them to create the colorful zigzag patterns that became the company’s signature.

Missoni quickly expanded, and eventually constructed its main factory in Sumirago. The couple showed their first collection in Milan in 1966. In 2011, Missoni collaborated with Target, and the collection broke many of the store’s records.

We here at The Inquisitr extend our condolences to the Missoni family and brand.

[Photo credit: Associazione Luca Coscioni / Flickr]