It seems Ottavio Missoni was always destined for big things. Before becoming a world-class designer he was an Olympic athlete, competing in the 1948 London games, where he first met future wife, 16 year old Rosita. A shy, Italian girl who had travelled to London to learn English, she was invited along with her fellow classmates to join the Italian athletics team for lunch.

“During the lunch I realised he was so funny. He was handsome but not only. He was clever and intelligent and with a great sense of humour, which has been very helpful in all our life,” Rosita said. 

Five years later they married on 18 April, 1953 and set up a small workshop making track suits in Gallarate, Italy near Rosita’s home village. A typically grand Italian affair, Ottavio and Rosita celebrated their day with plenty of family and friends – making their extravagant four-tier wedding cake an appropriate choice for the amount of mouths they had to feed. Both always well ahead of the times when it came to fashion, Ottavio looked incredibly handsome in his three-piece suit and tie while Rosita looked beautiful with her long-sleeve, high neck gown made from the finest, embroidered Italian fabrics.

Five years after the event, in 1958, the couple presented their first Missioni collection in Milan and spent the next 55 years of their marriage developing their brand into one of the world’s leading fashion houses.

CREDITS Photo Photographer unknown.