Angela Missoni on the State of Fashion and What It Takes to Keep a Fashion Brand Relevant

Ahead is an exclusive interview with Angela Missoni on how the world of fashion is changing and what it takes to stay relevant.

Mar 08, 2021 | By Giorgio Nadali

Not many houses in Italy can boast to have three generations of the family in the business like Missoni and as of 2021, the revered atelier is 68 years strong. Initially founded by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni in 1953, the ‘zigzag’ label has weathered through major crises such as the Cold War, Global Financial Crisis in 2007-8, and under the stewardship of Angela Missoni, the daughter of the founders, as its President and Creative Director, the label will continue on its trajectory of success.

To be able to stay relevant in spite of the transient nature of fashion is a skill that takes years to hone and Angela Missoni has definitely inherited this skill from her parents and she applies it to the management of Missoni.

Ahead is an exclusive interview with Angela Missoni on how the world of fashion is changing and what it takes to continue to surprise and conquer the public.

Three words to define the unique Missoni style

Informal, versatile, transgenerational

What does fashion mean to you and what lights and shadows do you currently see in fashion?

Fashion is an eye on things, a way of capturing, translating and marking time, a language in constant evolution. [On the one hand], it is an important economic driver, an area of ​​production and the market that the advent of technological innovations, e-commerce and social media; and sustainability on the other, are reconfiguring. The ways of conceiving, producing, informing, disseminating and selling fashion cannot fail to take this into account. Attention is growing, it is global, it is a judgment of the world that does not allow for distractions or missteps. And in a context of changed priorities, new global needs and expectations, each choice must be carefully considered. There is a change still in progress, which however focuses on quality and not on the speed of ideas, on longevity and not on the transience of our wardrobes, on the downsizing of consumption and not on excessive consumption. Lights and shadows therefore coexist and confront each other every day in a job that, like ours, remains rich in possibilities, but becomes more difficult every day.

Which of the following Ottavio Missoni aphorisms do you prefer and why?

  • To dress badly you don’t need to follow fashion, but it helps
  • Reading is like friendship: it costs little and gives you a lot
  • I believe that happiness is given by the little things, those that only matter to you and to those who love you
  • I believe that luck must be helped
From right: Ottavio Missoni, Rosita Missoni; Image Credit: Bernardo PÈrez

I would say that the third aphorism, the one about happiness is the one that concerns me most, because it implicitly refers to the meaning and value of the family, to the small everyday rituals, to the things that keep us grounded and, for how small, they keep us alive, sensitive, participating in the joys and problems of all. It is a belief that my father undoubtedly passed on to me.

Does passion, transgression or marketing count more in fashion today?

Our every passion or transgression flows into a product, in a way to make it, communicate it and convey it. I would say the three things count together.

“If I had to start today I would certainly not start doing fashion, but I would take care of gardening, I would be a garden architect, a gardener” (Ottavio Missoni). What do you think of young designers?

I believe it is essential that they exist. And I am convinced that youth is of enormous nourishment not only for fashion, but for all creative fields. I find many of them very interesting, or potentially interesting. They should be encouraged and supported, they keep the system alive.

To purchase the latest Missoni collection, head over to their official website here.

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