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Vittorio Missoni is an Italian business executive best known as the CEO of the Missoni brand, founded by his parents in the 1950s.
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Born in 1954 in Lombardy, Italy, Vittorio Missoni's parents, Ottavio and Rosita, were the founders of the high fashion brand Missoni. In 1996, Vittorio and his two siblings assumed control of Missoni, with Vittorio eventually rising to the rank of CEO. In January 2013, a plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, along with his wife and several friends, disappeared off the coast of Venezuela.
Vittorio Missoni was born in 1954 in Gallarate, Lomardy, Italy, to parents Ottavio and Rosita. A year prior to Vittorio's birth, the Missonis opened a knitwear store in Gallarate. Their business continued to grow and evolve during the 1950s. In 1958, the first garments featuring the Missoni label appeared in stores. The Missoni family also added two additional children, Luca and Angela, to their numbers during this time.
By the mid-1960s, the company's easy knitwear designs, bearing a distinctive zigzag pattern, had become the basis of a successful brand. Vittorio and his siblings grew up in an environment of style and privilege, meeting fashion legends and posing for pictures that ran in fashion and lifestyle magazines. In the late 1960s, the Missonis relocated their company headquarters from Lombardy to Milan—this move contributed to the elevation of northern Italy, and Milan in particular, as a world capitol of fashion.
In 1996, after more than 30 years in the business, Ottavio and Rosita passed leadership of the Missoni house to their three children; the change took place at a time when interest in the brand had ebbed significantly. Each of the three younger Missonis took on a distinct role within the business, with the goal of restoring it to international prominence. While Angela and Luca assumed creative control, Vittorio led the manufacturing and marketing side of operations. Eventually, he moved from a marketing role to become the company's chief executive in Europe and the United States.
Vittorio Missoni initiated the brand's global expansion after 1996. Over the next 15 years, Missoni became a lifestyle brand as well as a fashion house, lending its name and well-known patterns to items as diverse as towels, perfume and bicycles. The first Missoni hotel opened in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2009. A collaboration with the modestly priced chain store Target in 2011 proved so popular that traffic to the Target website overwhelmed its servers. Advertisements featuring the Missoni family, including Angela's daughter Margherita, have helped to establish the glamorous image of the brand. The Missoni family compound in Sardinia has been featured in Missoni ads, as well as in countless magazine articles and profiles.
On January 4, 2013, a private plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, and several close friends, disappeared off the coast of Venezuela. The party was returning from the resort island of Los Roques, a destination favored by many wealthy Italians. At the time of its disappearance, the plane was headed for the Caracas airport—a short trip, usually taking less than an hour.
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Each day, we put on clothes that do more than just cover up bodies. We choose clothes that represent our personalities, our moods, the times we live in, our ambitions and our desires. Who are the people behind the designs we wear every day? These fashion designers who have made fashion a huge industry, and whose work is as controversial, and as influential, as traditional art. These are some of the designers who have dressed the world's most famous people—and are hugely famous in their own right.
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