Missoni Patriarch Ottavio Missoni Dies at 92
Ottavio Missoni, the co-founder and patriarch of iconic Italian fashion house Missoni, died at his Northern Italian home on Thursday at the age of 92.
A statement released by the brand -- which is worn by Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz, to name a few -- said Missoni passed away "peacefully at home, surrounded by friends and family."
The death comes on the heels of the January disappearance of company CEO Vittorio Missoni -- Ottavio's eldest son -- who went missing with his wife and four others while flying in a small plane to Venezuela. The group hasn't been found.
Missoni co-founded the brand in 1953 with wife Rosita Jelmini, who he had met while competing as a hurdler in the 1948 Olympics and survives him. The couple began their career designing track suits for athletes, which were later worn by the Italian National Team and went on to be staples of cheeky sophistication. Lauren Bacall was an early fan of the colorful, zig zag tapestry designs while legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland had a penchent for the brand's vests.
Today the company boasts more than 40 stores around the world and the business is still run by the family -- daughter Angela serves as creative director, while granddaughter Margherita -- herself a fashion icon -- is brand ambassador and accessory designer for the company. In 2011, a collaborative collection with Target proved so popular that the mega retailer's website was brought down by the influx of traffic.
According to the company, the day and time of Ottavio's burial will be "communicated soon."