MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Known as one of the leading and most distinctive fashion houses in the world, the Missoni style began as a collaboration between the husband and wife team of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni.
"It really began in the 1950s with you and your husband, yes?" asked CBS4's Lisa Petrillo.
"Absolutely. We were married in 1953 and I was coming from a family where I grew up among fabrics, embroidery, silks, prints in a factory. That was my playground when I was a child," Said Rosita.
They met when he designed the uniforms for the London Olympic Games in 1948.
After they married in 1953, they began making items of knitwear in a small workshop in the basement of their home. Color, strips and zigzags became their signature style. The rest as they say is history.
"The brand hasn't really changed that much except for modernizing. It's still about stripes and colors, right?" Asked Petrillo.
"Yes, stripes and colors. But back at that time we couldn't do checks for instance. It's grown a lot because of the high-tech machines," Rosita said.
In the 90s their daughter Angela took over the reins as head of the fashion empire. Then Rosita started Missoni Home.
"Missoni Home is the business I developed when Angela my daughter at end of 1990s when she decided she was ready to take the reins of fashion," she explained.
Not "feeling" retirement, Rosita soon took Missoni Home from bed and bath to everything for the home – furniture, accessories and more.
Just recently, Rosita was on hand for the groundbreaking party of Missoni Baia, a brand new 57-story waterfront building with 249 residences in the Edgewater district of Miami.
The interior design of the building incorporates Missoni's trademark colorful design palette and Missoni Home furniture collection in inventive ways, including in all public spaces and amenities.
"It's an adventure because we are going to see how it will be. People have the chance to choose a Missoni designer apartment if they want, and of course we are prepared for that. We have all kinds of fabrics, items and pieces of furniture, so it's very exciting," Rosita said.
And at age 85, Rosita, now a great grandmother, isn't slowing down one bit. She spends most of her time living in her native Italy, but plans on being back to South Florida often to work on the project.
Missoni Baia is expected be completed sometime at the end of 2020.
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