The Talk with Ottavio Missoni Jr. of Missoni

In 1950s, Italian fashion house Missoni launched ready -to-wear collection.
In 1970s it reached the peak of its popularity.  Its signature zig-zag pattern is the most recognizable in the industry of fashion. On May 9th, 2013 Ottavio "Tai" Missoni, the patriarch of an Italian fashion house died at the age of 92 but Missoni spirit goes on with support from Missoni family. The brand's U.S. sales director , grandson/namesake of Ottavio Missoni returned to Nordstrom at Standford shopping center to present Resort 2016 collection. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with charming Ottavio Missoni before his meet and greet with customers, about Resort 2016 and more.

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J: If you had to use one word to describe Missoni Resort 2016 what would it be?

OM:  I would say it's a day tripper collection. By day tripper I mean it is for dynamic women who loves traveling on her day off, women who likes to go to countryside for the day or visit a museum.

J: We are in love with the colors that are used in Resort 2016. What was an inspiration behind it?

OM: One of the main inspirations for this collection is an a·vant-garde painter Sonia Delaunay, a Ukrainian-born French artist who is known for use of strong colors and geometric shapes. She was one of the first painters who designed a clothing collection. Her work with fabrics and clothing design has left a legacy. She is best known for the use of color, which Sonia described as "the skin of the world".

While pointing at Missoni beach cover up,  Ottavio mentioned how many clients often wear cover up as a dress for the evening on the yacht. Well, ladies, it's a no-no for Angela Missoni. 

While pointing at Missoni beach cover up,  Ottavio mentioned how many clients often wear cover up as a dress for the evening on the yacht. Well, ladies, it's a no-no for Angela Missoni. 

J: Missoni signature zig-zag patterns have become one of the most recognizable in the industry. How does the brand balance the need to keep the label modern while respecting its heritage?

OM: First I have to say we are lucky in this way because we are famous for the use of color.  It really helps us, because we can work with all the color palette. We have a team that works a lot on a research of the fabric and color. At the same time it's hard, because we are 60 years old brand, so we have to innovate, but not forget where we came from.  In this way what is helping us is that we are a third generation company, family owned, and every single generation from the beginning contributes some ideas.

Missoni Dress inspired by Sonia Delaunay artwork.

Missoni Dress inspired by Sonia Delaunay artwork.

J: You did it very well in the Resort 2016.

M: What we do is timeless. People say that many clothes from the past can be easily worn today.

J: What is the most important lesson you've learned from your grandfather Ottavio Missoni?

OM: First I would say that I love to think of him as a great man, I really admire him for what he did. He used to tell us some funny things that I keep alive inside of me to this day. He never took himself too seriously, always kidding to other people. When in public, he was always laughing and never took himself seriously. But this man knew everything. He may have seemed not interested, but he was. So I think me and my brothers and nephews, all of us learned that from him. He used to tell us that we had to be the best in anything that we wanted to do in life. No matter what. He said, "If you want to do something, you have to give your best. Otherwise don't do it".

J: Who is Missoni mission girl?

OM: I don't think we ever had a muse. We have been dressing models, actresses, recently Michelle Obama wore our dress. I'd like to think our own muses are the ones in our family. My grandmother, my cousins, who are all beautiful ladies. I think there is no better muse, brand ambassador than those from the family.

J: What is next for Missoni?

OM: Next month we are coming out with new perfume. Last time we released perfume was ten years ago. Because Missoni is a lifestyle it is important for the brand to have one. We will start Missoni perfume in Europe and then plan to launch everywhere else in the world. 

J: So, Missoni perfume? I got to look out for that one.

OM:  Yes, then in terms of market we are planning to expand the brand to Asia and Eastern countries. We are not strong there, but we are aiming to move in that direction. 

Shop Missoni Resort 2016 at Nordstrom today.