born 1931

When 16-year-old Rosita Jelmini met a handsome sprinter during the 1948 Olympics in London, it was the beginning of more than a love affair. Italian Hurdler Octavio "Tai" Missoni had designed his team's tracksuits, while Rosita grew up around her family's embroidery factory. After the 2 married, it seemed only natural to become business partners, too.

The small knitwear workshop they founded would grow into the multi-million dollar Missoni fashion empire. Today, Missoni is a couture label and has expanded into furniture, home goods + even hotels. Rosita and Tai retired in 1997, but their children have lovingly carried on the family brand. 

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Rosita Missoni (14)

"It wasn't easy to get known."

An Italian Couple with a Knack for Knits | november 1971

"[A] piece of clothing should be like a work of art. It should not be bought for a special occasion or because it's in fashion, but because a woman likes it…and feels she could wear it forever."

with Elsa Klensch | may 1978

"In life my aim was first of all to keep the family together."

What Future for La Famiglia? | september 2001

"I was convinced -- yes, we have done something in fashion."

Missoni Family Mosaic | december 2003

"In the 1990's, I lost the passion. And I don't think you can work in fashion unless you are passionate."

Missoni's Family Mosaic | december 2003

"In my family the women have always worked alongside their husbands."

Rosita Missoni: 60 Colorful Years | december 2008

"Mine is work that is fantastic when it is done with passion, because you have antennae for moods, for feelings that are in the air."

Rosita Missoni: 60 Colorful Years | december 2008

"Craftsmanship comes before fashion."

Rosita Missoni: 60 Colorful Years | december 2008

"Often it is the material itself that inspires the form."

Rosita Missoni: 60 Colorful Years | december 2008

"Color is the story of our life."

Rosita Missoni: Fashionista and Luxury Hotel Owner | january 2009

"I cannot stay away from color."

An Interview with Rosita Missoni | february 2011

"I hate luxury in the sense which is given to luxury and luxury brands. For me, real luxury is good attentive service, and good and comfortable design."

Interview with Missoni Matriarch, Senora Rosita Missoni | march 2011

"I was completely lost without my job, my deadlines and work responsibility. All of a sudden, I was free to do all my hobbies, but I didn’t want to."

Why Rosita Missoni Won't Retire | october 2014

"To be copied is an honour but you have to keep finding something new. It pushes you to turn the page."

Why Rosita Missoni Won't Retire | october 2014
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Rosita Missoni

curated with care by Kathleen Murray + Shelagh Bolger {september 2014}