The heiress to the Italian fashion house Missoni chats about her second pregnancy and creating her own design legacy
“Family is a safe place,” says Margherita Missoni. In her case, it’s also the Missoni fashion empire, started by her grandparents Ottavio and Rosita as a workshop in a village outside Milan in 1953. With heritage like that, it’s inevitable that Margherita would eventually become a designer herself. But her creations are not in the signature knitwear style of the Missoni brand – instead, this spring she’s launching Margherita Kids, a label for children. Inspiration hit after the birth of her first child, Otto, in 2013. “I realised how many clothes are made by people who don’t have children.” It was time to shake things up.
Margherita’s desire is to make clothes that embrace the freedom of children. “Whether it be freedom of movement, hence comfort, or freedom of choice. The concept of this line is that there is no perfect look or match. Everything is meant to go with everything as kids should be able to pick their own clothes and have fun with it.” The collection is fresh: bright colours, summery patterns, light fabrics. There are hints of classic styles – “The seersucker represents those proper children’s clothes that my mum would never get me” – offset by original colour combinations. “Navy is brightened by lime and strawberry ‘unsweetened’ by organic brown’.”
Soon there will be another baby to trial her new designs. Margherita’s pregnant with her second child with her husband, racing car driver Eugenio Amos. After a career as an actress in her twenties, it felt like the right time to set up her own business. With an expanding family, “I want to be able to decide my own time and dictate my own pace”. That said, the pace has changed a little. During her first pregnancy, she was the classic first-timer obsessive: religiously checking her pregnancy app and “Giving in to the laziness”. This time round, life has sped up, she’s hard at work and the nine months are flying by. She’s also figured out how to dress for pregnancy. “The first time I made so many mistakes. I wish NINE IN THE MIRROR already existed! I would have avoided quite a few faux pas.” Now she knows to avoid the “Circus-tent type of dress that makes anyone look 15 months-pregnant,” and opts instead for “Normal clothes that suit a pregnant body.” She’ll buy maternity denim, but her go-to look is tight, stretchy dresses and silk trousers that taper at the ankle, teamed with t-shirts. Come evening, it’s “An embellished kaftan – always glamorous and exotic.”
In Her Words
Hide the bump or show off the bump?
This time I hid it for the first and second trimester. It helped to make the pregnancy go by faster.
Nine long months or nine joyous months?
Nine long months.
Are you a go-home-and-collapse-on-the-sofa pregnant woman, or a hyperactive-yoga-superbusy pregnant woman? (Or both?)
Chilled the first pregnancy and hyperactive the second.
What do you miss the most while pregnant?
A late night out with my friends.
One thing you couldn’t live without while pregnant?
Favourite brand to wear when pregnant?
Surprise pregnancy fact?
A stuffy nose!
Boy, girl or waiting to find out?
Top tip for other pregnant women?
Pregnancy is four trimesters long, not three! The sooner you come to terms with this, the easier it'll be.
If your partner could carry the baby, would you let him?!
I think I'd be jealous.
Words by Sophie Elmhirst
Photographs by Margherita Chiarva
Styled by Margherita Missoni
Shot on location at Spazio Rossana Orlandi