PA L A ZZO PERFETTO Margherita Maccapani Missoni’s country retreat is a tribute to her family’s fashion legacy. By Sara Parker Bowles. Photographed by Andrew Woffinden.
Walt Disney once advised: “A man should never neglect his family for his business.” But what kind of challenges do you face when your family is your business? For Margherita Maccapani Missoni, descendant of one of the most famous fashion dynasties in the world – which, along with the Fendis, the Versaces, the Ferragamos, and the Pradas, has proved that when it comes to Italian super-brands, blood and business are a winning formula – life’s trials have been about how to forge her own identity alongside this legacy. The eponymous fashion house, which the 32-year-old will inherit, was founded in Sumirago, Italy, in 1953 by her grandparents, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. With the support of such influential fashion editors as Diana Vreeland and Anna Piaggi, the original knitwear label took off, and by the ’60s, Missoni boutiques were popping up everywhere. Its popularity increased in the ’70s, when every style icon rocked the brand’s multi-coloured zigzag-knit dresses and coats.
In 1996, the Missonis transferred control of the business to their three children: their oldest son, Vittorio, became head of institutional affairs; Luca became head of the archive; and Angela, Margherita’s mother, was made creative director, debuting her first line in 1997. They also added a Missoni Home line and hotel chain to the business.
“Growing up, I had this extraordinary net of protection around me thanks to my family,” says Margherita. “My grandparents lived 60 metres from us and the Missoni offices were just a stone’s throw away, so it was wonderful, but also quite intense. I think it was only natural that I felt a need to fly the nest.” At 18, Margherita left home and started city-hopping. For six years, she lived between Paris, Rome, and New York, auditioning for acting jobs (she appeared in a production of The Maids by Jean Genet, with the model and actress Mariacarla Boscono) and studying, mainly at Columbia University, until the allure of the family business proved impossible to resist. She headed back to Milan, where
Colours in Margherita’s
The sitting room with a zebra rug from Eugenio’s grandfather
A lamp with Missoni Home fabric