The Missoni fashion empire had its start back in 1947 when Ottavio Missoni designed his first tracksuit for the Italian Olympic track team. When Ottavio, known as Tai by friends, married Rosita in 1952, the couple intended on earning a simple living with little more than a knitting machine. Instead, their colorful dream turned into a multi-million dollar knitwear company that evolved from simple sweater sets to include a lightning bolt zigzag that eventually became the label's signature design.
See styles from the 2006 Missoni collection.
All three of Tai and Rosita's children—Luca, Victorio and Angela—help run the family owned business out of the Missoni headquarters, located on their country estate in Sumirago, Italy. A typical workday involves hard work and endless decisions about color, style and runway shows. The Missonis know how to enjoy life's simple pleasures, too. Angela, the company's creative director and mother of three, says the convenient on-site factory allows the entire family to work closely together and spend quality time with each other.