Luca Missoni Interview

Luca Missoni is one of three siblings involved in the family fashion business established by their parents Ottavio ‘Tai’ and Rosita Missoni more than 50 years ago. His sister Angela is the force behind the women’s label, their older brother Vittorio is the company’s marketing director, and Luca is the creative director of the menswear collections and Missoni Sport. He works between Varese and New York, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Who are your favourite designers? I never look much at what other people are doing – it’s more when I have a personal connection with a designer. Issey Miyake makes beautiful clothes, although not for every occasion, and he is like an uncle to me.

Which shoes are in your wardrobe? Apart from trainers I have two pairs of very classic Church’s, which I have had for many years. I also have some moccasins by Tod’s which I like very much.

Who makes the best trainers? I find a lot of them over-designed. But I like Sabelt – it’s an Italian company that mainly makes seatbelts and car accessories. I wish I had designed them myself.

Which jeans do you wear? I wear jeans about a third of the time – they’re extremely practical because they never look dirty and I often clean my hands on them when I’m working. I tend to wear jeans that Missoni used to make in the 1980s, which are fading little by little now (I don’t like things to be faked to look old). We don’t do so much distribution of jeans any more.

What do you wear in bed? Missoni has a nice line of classic pyjamas – nothing too fancy, you don’t want to look like a clown in your bedroom. Or I wear T-shirts and shorts – I have two favourite T-shirts, one with Luca handpainted on it, which was a birthday present, and the other saying, ‘Life’s too short not to be Italian’.

Which car do you drive? I drive a Chrysler Grand Voyager, which has lots of room but still goes fast, and a small Fiat 124 convertible from the 1970s, a beautiful design. I’ve just finished redesigning a Mini coupe for my 21-year-old daughter Jennifer – it’s a foot and a half longer, like a station wagon, and has Missoni interiors. She loves it.

Which was the last CD you bought? Jacques Loussier Plays Bach. This is a French trio who turn classics into contemporary jazz. And I bought an ELO collection to play in my car. I love that sound.

Which is your favourite shop? I like to wander and I don’t always remember the places I find – I prefer looking at objects and antiques rather than clothing. There’s an antiques store in New York that is more like a science museum with beautiful bits of antique machinery, telescopes and cameras (Mantiques Modern, 146 W 22nd Street; mantiquesmodern.com).

Which is your favourite restaurant? The River Cafe in Brooklyn is great and with beautiful views – we go there for birthdays with friends. And there’s our neighbourhood trattoria in my home town of Varese that the family takes over every few weeks. We improvise wine-tastings and have a meal together.

Who makes the best moisturiser? Clinique’s Maximum Hydrator moisturiser works well. I also like ROC products.

Which fragrance do you wear? I mix two different ones – a spicy L’Occitane one with Lagerfeld Classic, which is sweeter.

# Interview by Naomi West

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