Ottavio Missoni, the patriarch of luxury Italian fashion house Missoni, died at the age of 92 on Thursday, May 9 at his home in Sumirago, Italy. "The Missoni Family announces that Ottavio Missoni passed away peacefully at home at the age of 92, surrounded by his Family," a family spokesperson said in a statement. "The day and time of his burial will be communicated soon."
The news came four months after Ottavio's son and an executive in his company, Vittorio Missoni, went missing in a plane accident. The plane carrying Vittori, his wife and other passengers, disappeared in January after taking off from the Carribean. Search and Rescue efforts yielded no result.
Ottavio was born on February 11, 1921 in Dubrovnik (now Croatia) to a sea captain Vittorio and wife Teresa De Vidovich. In the second World War, he fought with the Italian army at the Battle of El Alamein. He spent four years in a British prison camp before being released in 1946 and returning to Italy.
In 1948, the athletic young Ottavio was elected to compete in the 400-meter hurdle race at the London Olympic. He designed his team's uniform. During the event, he was introduced to Rosita Jelmini, an Italian student who studied English in London. Five years later, they got married.
With his skill in designing clothes and Rosita's knowledge of knitting machines, in 1953 Ottavio began his own clothing company, which later became popular for its bright-colored geometric knits and zigzag patterns. Now, Missoni sells not only clothes, but also accessories and fragrances. Its products can be found all across the world and used by the celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kate Middleton.
Ottavio is survived by wife Rosita, and two other children, Luca and Angela.