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 The History of Missoni

The Missoni brand has long been known for its aesthetic appeal, with its colorful zigzag patterns adorning the bodies of everyone from models to celebrities for the better part of a century. However, while Missoni’s designs can be seen on runways today, when the company was founded, it was more mom-and-pop shop than mega-brand. So, how did Missoni go from a tiny apparel shop in small-town Italy to one of the world’s most recognizable brands? Sheer determination.

In Gallarate, Italy, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni were tooling with their family clothing business as the 1950s began. The married couple’s handiwork, which included creating the famous striped patterns that have earned the brand worldwide acclaim, first began attracting attention among the fashionable women of Gallarate. By 1958, just five years after the business was founded, it had attracted enough of an audience to go head-to-head with some of the world’s best designers in the world’s fashion capital, Milan. Soon, with the advent of the mod movement and the sexual revolution, Missoni’s bright, cheeky, and somewhat scandalously sheer designs became a hit on a national scale. By 1969, the Missonis had built a factory in 1969 to mass-produce their products, which began to appear in magazines from their native Italy to the U.S. edition of Vogue within months. By the 1970s, Missoni was a household name, its clothing a must-have for millions of modern women.

While the Missonis rode the success of their brand through the 70s and 80s, by the 1990s, Ottavio and Rosita had tired of their active roles in their fashion business, seeking other creative pursuits to keep them engaged. Ottavio began designing home goods and working on costuming for other companies, while Rosita was eager to hand the business off to the next generation of Missonis. After her daughter Angela was tapped to take over her role, Rosita stepped down from the Missoni fashion brand, focusing her efforts instead of Missoni Home. From there, the Missonis decided that, rather than retire, it was time to branch out again. Their next target? The world of luxury real estate.

When Missoni made its move into stateside real estate, there was only one city that matched the brand’s vibrant and youthful energy. Bright, full of life, and home to some of the world’s most fashion-forward individuals, Miami was the clear choice for the Missonis’ foray into residential real estate. The company’s unique style is exemplified throughout Missoni Baia, a waterfront luxury tower in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood. Developed by OKO Group, OB Group, and Cain International, and designed by Asymptote Architecture with Revuelta Architecture International serving as executive architect, the building’s team is as strong as its branding, with celebrated designer Paris Forino using Missoni Home pieces throughout the building’s stunning interiors. Not only can residents of Missoni Baia enjoy Missoni design throughout their homes and the building’s communal spaces, they’ll also be treated to amenities including a salon, 1,700-square-foot fitness center, outdoor deck and lounge, an Olympic-sized pool, children’s playroom, and even a pet spa.  Much like the Missoni brand itself, the building isn’t afraid of being distinctive, creating a new generation of Miami luxury buildings and indelibly raising the bar for those who will follow. While the Missoni brand has undeniably changed since those early days in Gallarate, with projects like Missoni Baia on their resume and a bright future under the helm of Angela Missoni, there’s no telling what’s next for this iconic design house.

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