Ottavio “Tai” Missoni, patriarch of the famous knitwear clan, marked his 90th birthday with a walk down the runway and an autobiography, published by Rizzoli. In February, Missoni’s daughter Angela, creative director of the brand, took her catwalk bow holding her father’s hand high in the air. It made for a moving moment, one rarely seen in the youth-obsessed fashion industry.
This story first appeared in the March 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The victory lap may have reminded Missoni of his own athletic days, which he described in the book. “Running was a natural gift, they called me ‘son of Apollus,’ said the genial nonagenarian, whose wit—and a slew of personal photos—runs throughout the volume. Missoni’s “collection of stories,” as he calls the autobiography, runs from his memories of the battle of El Alamein, his exile from Zara (today Zadar) and his captivity in Egypt to his initial steps in the fashion industry. “We were considered revolutionary,” he recalled of those first colorful collections.