Margherita is the third generation of iconic Italian knitwear label, Missoni. As creative director of accessories, kidswear and brand ambassador, 30-year-old Margherita is perhaps the most recognisable of the tight knit (pun intended), Italian clan.
The past two years have been a time of much change for Margherita she gave birth to her first child Otto and married her baby daddy race car driver, Eugenio Amos. Last year saw the passing of both her grandfather, family patriarch, Ottavio Missoni, who along with Margheritas grandmother Rosita, founded the Missoni brand in 1953 and her Uncle Vittorio, marketing director of the brand, who tragically died in a plane crash off the coast of Venezuela. We caught up with Margherita to discuss the enduring independent spirit of Missoni and the future of the iconic company.
Over the past few years youve taken on a pivotal role within Missoni and really developed the accessories line. Where do you see Missoni accessories sitting or moving towards in the next few years? Do you think bags and sunglasses will ever surpass the iconic knits and homewares? The Fall 2014 bags were heaven BTW!
This is a strategic decision that the company will have to make collectively. To develop an accessory line is not only a question of design, but it requires major investments and planning. Missoni is still an independent company. Thank you for the nice words about the fall bags 🙂
You also oversee swimwear, kidswear and act as a brand ambassador. Take us through the early inception of each season; do the family and head designers all come together casually to carve out the inspiration and mood or is it a very formal process? Im curious as to how everyone stays united in vision and execution across the lines.
Its an organic process, not too formal. A few of us get together under my mothers supervision to determine the direction of the season; after that, we all go back to our respective departments and freely develop the different collections with our individual, dedicated teams.
You lived and studied in New York for much of your twenties, how has that period informed life with your family in Italy now? Also, you studied acting at the Strasberg Institute, was there ever a moment you considered a career in the arts as opposed to the family business?
I had to leave, to move far away and to do something different. Its quite overwhelming to grow up in such a big, tight family like ours and I needed to understand who I was as a single-being rather than just one part of a clan. I certainly considered taking different career paths, one never knows where life will head. Im so content being at Missoni in Italy now because I had that experience living elsewhere doing something different.
Youve said that your grandmother Rosita and mother Angela have taught you how to successfully distance yourself from getting caught up in the fashion world. What was their advice and has it crystallised now that youre just out of your twenties and have a family of our own?
They really instilled in me the fact that, at the end of the day its just fashion. Yes, it allows people to dream and have fun, but we are not saving the world, we are just making clothes. This is part of the Missoni philosophy!
Lets talk about your son Otto! What a cutie, how has having a child changed your perspective on fashion, work and life at-large? Im not a fan of the how do you do it all question but with such a crucial role at the company but um, how do you do it all?
Go with the flow, relax and simply dont try to control everything, you cant anyway! Life is full of surprises, just embrace them. Having Otto has confirmed this, I know whats truly important.
I imagine 2013 was a year of much joy and sorrow for you, you and your husband welcomed baby Otto to the world but also had to deal with the passing of your beloved nonno Ottavio and uncle Vittoria. Has 2014 been a year of much processing and change for you and the Missonis at-large?
Yes, a lot of changes and unexpected news, it is still very difficult to talk about. The hardest but most crucial thing is slowly learning to embrace change rather than fighting it
As a Missoni fangirl I have to ask what your most treasured Missoni pieces are? Is there anything your grandparents or mother designed that you will never part with?
I treasure a patch-work Missoni vest from the 60s that used to belong to my mother as a young girl.
Missoni campaigns are always an event, you seamlessly move from having Juergen Teller shoot the whole family at home (my favourite Missoni campaign ever!) to using family friends Pedro Almodovar & Maria Carla Boscono (whom youve acted on stage with) right up to 2014 with the timeless Christy Turlington set against a futuristic blue sky in the Canary Islands. What is your involvement with the creative?
My mother is the creative soul behind our campaigns and the company at-large. She has always had a great eye for upcoming photographers, before they get really big and likes to fuse new talent with people we know. It always creates a buzz for our campaigns as no one knows what to expect from season to season!
Some quick questions with Margherita:
Who was your favorite actor growing up?
Whats your favourite film?
La Strada by Fellini.
Your signature fragrance is?
Songes by lArtisan Parfumeur.
Your favourite work of art?
Matisses Bathing Beauty.
Interview by Courtney D up on i-D.