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Young Ottavio (Tai) Missoni, a former athletic sprinter, and Rosita Jelmini, a language student, first conceived the company in 1953. Tai's workshop initially produced track suits. Through Rosita's family of manufacturers, knitting machines became available at a time when patterns were knitted only in horizontal and vertical stitches. The pair had the machines reconfigured for more modern alternatives. After the couple married, Rosita chose to become the firm's business manager. With his extraordinary eye for color, Tai focused his efforts on arranging color palettes. Beginning with their first runway presentation in 1967, at the Pitti Palace, in Florence, the Missonis attracted attention. Fashion writers and arbiters of style such as Diana Vreeland and Bernardine Morris were the first to publicize the Missoni style. By the 1970s the rust-brown Missoni cloth label was recognized worldwide as a status symbol. Along with their artisanal approach and spirited color combinations, the Missonis developed their expertise in striping, scalloping, waves, prints, and jacquard dots. Missoni eyewear is made in Italy in the finnest of the materials and reflects the brand DNA and aesthetics.
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