One year ago the CEO of Missoni, Livio Proli, said the 69 year-old Italian knitwear brand needed to be “dusted off and made more relevant and cool.” Today, following a wide-ranging recruitment process during which headhunters are understood to have approached several progressive young designers in Milan, London, and beyond, Proli announced that Missoni has found its man: Filippo Grazioli.
Grazioli, 40, has been poached from Burberry where he worked for Riccardo Tisci as collections director. Before that he had stints at Givenchy (also under Tisci), Hermès, and Martin Margiela. In a release today Grazioli said: “I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given, and the possibility to shape my experience further in a new vision that maintains the joyfulness, freshness, sense of colour, and positivity that are the core qualities of Missoni.”
Grazioli’s appointment is the latest phase of a transition for Missoni that began in 2018 when the founding family allowed an Italian fund named FSI to take a 41.2% stake in the company. Two years later Proli was recruited to shape its new direction. This led, last year, to the reassignment of Angela Missoni to the role of president from that of creative director after 24 years. In the interim her long-time right hand in womenswear, Alberto Caliri, has overseen the collections, a duty that will now be handed over to Grazioli. According to the release issued by Missoni today, Caliri will oversee the house’s homeware collection and the newly relaunched Missoni Sport.
Missoni has amongst the most recognisable and beguiling visual signatures in all of fashion: the rainbow zig-zag stripe most authentically rendered on body-hugging fine knits. It was this which reportedly prompted the former Vogue editor Diane Vreeland to explain when she first saw a Missoni dress: “Who said there are only seven colours in the rainbow? There are tones!” Here’s hoping that Missoni’s fresh tone proves just as impactful at Grazioli’s first show in September.