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The Amazing Life Of Fashion Legend Ottavio Missoni, 1921-2013

Where would fashion be without that iconic zigzag print? Here's a look back at the life of a man who started it all.

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The founder of the iconic label bearing his name passed away Thursday morning at his home in Sumirago, Italy, at the age of 92. The cause of death remains unclear, but Missoni was treated for a respiratory condition last week, according to The New York Times. In a statement, the Missoni label said he "passed away serenely," and that an announcement about funeral arrangements is forthcoming.


Ottavio founded Missoni in 1953 with his wife Rosita, who came from a family of knitwear designers.

He and Rosita started by designing knit tracksuits for athletes. The couple — pictured here on their wedding day in April 1953 — designed together, but Ottavio is credited with inventing Missoni's signature zigzag prints that remain hugely popular today. The Missonis showed in Milan for the first time in 1958.


The Missonis worked tirelessly on their line and runway shows for decades before ceding control of the company to their children.

Mondadori/Contributor / Getty Images

During the late 1990s the Missoni's ceded control of the company to their children, who continue to run it today.

Four months before Ottavio's death, Vittorio — Missoni's CEO — went missing off the Venezuelan coast in a small plane that was carrying four other passengers. The plane's disappearance remains a mystery.

Pictured: Ottavio with a model backstage at a show in 1984.


His grandchildren — Margherita, Francesco, and Teresa Missoni — are becoming fashion icons in their own right.


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