Margherita Missoni On Flea-Market Finds, Family Dinners, & Keeping It Real

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Bright-eyed students and S.F. fashion spectators alike relish in the end-of-year design extravaganza that is Academy of Art University’s high-profile show and symposium, which wrangles top-tier figures to join in on the fun. But, this year, not only did the event bring in one or two — AAU culled the entire Missoni clan (Rosita, Angela, and Margherita) for the festivities. Talk about a family affair. Featuring an in-depth Q&A with Angela and Margherita Missoni as well as a stunning show, this was one zigzagged whirlwind of a week. So, we caught up with Margherita to chat about everything from her fave flea-market find to what it’s like at the Missoni dinner table. Find out below.

We’re here celebrating AAU’s talented design students, but tell us, what were you like as a student?
"I was a very good student. I always loved being the best and was always the best student in my class. It became my obsession. I finished with high scores — and then dropped out."

What advice would you give to these students here?
"I feel like school should not be just perceived as school but rather as the beginning of your career. That way it's really productive — look at everything you are learning like it's the beginning of your working life."

We heard you're a big flea-market fan. What's been your greatest score?
"Once I was in Paris during Fashion Week, and my grandmother was there as well, and I went out the night before really late. And, she was like, 'Tomorrow, I'm going to go to the flea market,' and I said, 'I might join a little later.' And, like at 8:30 she calls me from the flea market saying she found this coat that I should come try on. I was like, Really, now? So, I went there, and it was a black Lanvin coat and she was like, 'Sometimes you like things because they are fun or bold or extravagant — but it's important to know how beautiful things are made, and you can always look at this and keep it as a reference.' I own this coat, and it is the most beautiful thing I've ever owned."

What inspired you the most while growing up?
"You don’t realize what’s happening or that things are inspiring, but I must say the freedom I was allowed opened a world of possibility around me. People who come and work for Missoni — whether they dress extravagantly or just wear black — the flowers, the countryside, everything opened up my mind and made me feel that it was a big range of choices I could make."

Speaking of choices, you also dabbled in acting. Anything you're working on right now?
"No, I’m not acting anymore. I think at the time, I viewed it as a rejection of fashion, and it was a moment of my life where I was trying to find out who I was. And, you know, digging into your past and your emotions — acting has a lot to do with that. So, I think that was a need at the time. My life is too cheerful to be an actress."

What's the biggest lesson your mom, Angela, and grandmother Rosita have taught you?
"I think keeping it real and just being able to step back and not take anything too seriously — especially a job. We have a lot of people working for us, and they depend on us, but after all, it's just fashion. Don’t take it too seriously."

What is a Missoni family dinner like? Any funny or memorable moments?
"It’s always been an important part of our day. We always sit down for lunch and dinner. We always go to my grandmother's — she is right next to the factory — and it is a time of day we have a chance to talk and chat and really be together. It's a time to bond. I want to teach that to my kids."

Do you ever fight?
"Like everyone, of course, we get into arguments, but the important thing is being able to make up and forgive and forget."

What other areas of design/the company would you love to get into?
"Right now, I am happy with where I am at. But, honestly, when you are a shareholder of a company, your job doesn’t really begin and end at a specific point."