Ottavio Missoni started their own fashion design company with his wife Rosita. First they started with stripes, the easiest design which could be made with the ch. They use up to twenty different fabrics, including wool, cotton, linen, rayon and silk and some 40 different colours for each of their collections. Their clothes range from sweaters to skirts, dresses and jackets. Ottavio Missoni has also diversified from clothes to tapestries and carpets. Ottavio died last year leaving Rosita being the head of the business.
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One of our favorite italian fashion designers, Miuccia Prada was once a member of the Italian Communist Party and a mime student. She was an unlikely entrepreneur when she took over her family’s luggage business in 1978. She first dazzled the fashion world in 1985 with a series of black nylon handbags and backpacks. Prada is now a billion-dollar company. Beginning with Prada’s first ready-to-wear collection in 1989, she established a techno minimalism based on pared-down design, innovative fabrics, and computer-enhanced patterns that have become influentially iconic.
Chanel led a long and fascinating life, which included some darker episodes, such as an affair with a Nazi officer during World War II. He used his influence to ensure that she could continue to live in comfort at the Hotel Ritz during the conflict. Many wondered why Chanel was not charged for collaborating when the war ended – it is believed (and very likely true) that friends in high places protected her from retribution. Coco Chanel died in Paris, at the Ritz, in 1971.
Ralph Lauren is known for his desire to control every facet of his company’s image: some of his ex-employees tell tales of a control freak with a quick temper and little patience for mistakes. In fact, the whole Lauren saga, with its many reversals of fortune and huge comebacks, was recorded with biting accuracy in the nasty, unauthorized tell-all book, Genuine Authentic.