Fashion wasn’t a world of glitz and glamour for young Margherita Missoni—it was her everyday life.
“Dresses, models, seamstresses, and fashion shows were my first memories,” says Missoni, who is the creative director of M Missoni, an offshoot of the famed Italian fashion house. Missoni is the granddaughter of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the founders of the high-end fashion company known for its iconic knitwear with colorful zigzag patterns. Several of her other family members work for the business, too, including her mother, Angela, who has served as Missoni’s creative director since 1997.
From as early as kindergarten, Missoni, 37, would entertain herself by dressing up dolls, making handbags out of fabric scraps and exploring her mother’s office with her brother and sister, fascinated by the number of pencils, fabrics, and beads.
“It was so much fun to be a child and to express my creativity through drawing and playing dress-up in all of the wonderful and colorful clothes,” Missoni says. At 18 years old, she moved out of her Italian countryside hometown, first to Milan and then to New York. At the same time, she started to be viewed as a representative of her family’s business as her mother began to form Missoni into the renowned fashion company it is today. “I kind of became an ambassador without knowing it,” Missoni says. Missoni modeled and signed a contract with Estée Lauder while pursuing acting dreams in New York, becoming the face of the cosmetic company’s fragrance made with the Missoni brand.
But Missoni soon realized she wasn’t as invested in acting as she had thought, and she wanted to pursue the family business of fashion.