- May 11, 2012
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usatoday.comOttavio Missoni, founder of a family fashion dynasty known for a zigzag pattern, died Thursday at his home in northern Italy. He was 92.
A statement issued by Missoni SpA said he "passed away serenely" in his home in the town of Sumirago, reports The Miami Herald. The town, near the city of Varese, is also home to the company headquarters.
Ottavio Missoni founded the company in 1953 with his wife, Rosita Jelmini, who survives him. The couple's three children and their offspring become involved in working for the company and expanding the brand.
The death of the patriarch comes on the heels of a tragedy earlier this year involving his eldest child, company CEO Vittorio Missoni, 58. Vittorio disappeared with his wife and four others while flying in a small plane during a vacation to a Venezuelan island. They were never found. The company's creative director is the couple's daughter, Angela. A third child, Luca, works in a technical role in the company.
Born on Feb. 11, 1921, in what is now Dubrovnik, in Croatia, Missoni was fond of saying he came into the fashion business practically by accident. His wife's family owned a textile factory and produced shawls.
At the beginning, they produced athletic wear. Missoni had been a track-and-field star and competed in the 1948 Olympics. The Missonis, who often wore their own creations in everyday life, first showed their collection in Milan in 1966. Their collaboration with Target in 2011 was considered a huge success.