Missoni's Latest Venture is an Abstract Art Collab

Missoni's Latest Venture is an Abstract Art Collab

Angela Missoni reveals how the Italian fashion house is continuing to merge art and fashion.

Angela Missoni reveals how the Italian fashion house is continuing to merge art and fashion.

Text: Danielle Combs

The worlds of fashion and art continue to see creative collaborations, and Missoni is one brand that has been on this wave for a while. The house's creative director of twenty years, Angela Missoni is continuing her Surface Conversion series, the latest installation titled "Dreams of Being". The installation is done by American textile artist Rachel Hayes in collaboration with A Palazzo Gallery. The exhibit, which will redefine the retail space of Missoni's Madison Avenue Boutique, will feature Hayes’ large scale, hand-sewn patchwork tapestries as well as photographs from Missoni's own collection. "Dreams of Being" is open now at the Missoni Madison Avenue Boutique, 1009 Madison Avenue.

In an exclusive interview with V, Angela Missoni sat down to discuss the inspiration behind the art collaboration, how she discovered artist Rachel Hayes, and what the future will hold for Missoni.

How has your love and passion for art merged or filtered into your design?

I really work by instinct when I design, which is really a filter of what I think and see or how I feel. So, I guess that my love of art, which is one of the things that makes me the person who I am, really informs my sensibilities and my point of view.

How did the collaboration between you and textile artist Rachael Hayes come about?

I think it was the end of April or May, I found her on Instagram. I don’t know how, but I found her on Instagram. And I was very, very impressed. And at that moment, I was also beginning to plan the show in September and I was thinking about light patchworks, these kinds of fabrics for the set. At the beginning, I think her work stuck with me as a source of inspiration. I said, “Okay I would like to do something like that.” And then after a month, I thought, well, maybe she should do it, maybe she’ll consider collaborating with me. And, in fact, I wrote to her, via a DM on Instagram, and we started chatting. To my delight, she accepted to do this collaboration and that’s how it started.

And how does this collaboration closely examine fashion and art together?

You know, the point is, that I know I’m working on my dream and I’m building a dream and Rachel dreams, also, in a very loud way. Fashion is something that is not only related to the single garment, but we are building dreams, right?

I would love my company to embrace my world, so I’m happy I can express more and more of my feelings, things that are more personal, my sensations, in my work. What I know, what I realize, is that maybe, going on with age and maybe having less years, that I must really go for what I feel, what I like, and communicate that to my customer, the public. This is my world and I’m opening up on my personal world. Which of course is a Missoni world, but it’s an Angela Missoni world, also.

Can you talk a little bit about what your creative process was like when devising the latest exhibit?

Rachel had total creative freedom. She, of course, submitted a proposal and then we went on with discussing how to bring her ideas to life. We both work in a very collaborative way. She had previously never had the opportunity to exhibit her works in a store, so this was definitely a new experience for her, I suppose, but the ongoing Surface Conversion series is aimed at giving artists the freedom to transform the space as they desire. Within reason, of course! But she had total freedom; in what would go in the windows, how she worked on the inside, how she worked on the stairway, etc. She even selected the various images from the ad campaign that were chosen for the lightboxes, and some images of her personal work, too.

And now that you’ve been at the helm for over 20 years as creative director, how do you see the brand evolving and changing over time?

I’ve seen, being creative director for over 20 years, a sort of rebirth of the company, and I’ve witnessed so much. This year is going to be the 65th anniversary for Missoni and we’re going to celebrate in September with an exhibition. 20 years, the past 20 years of Angela-- that’s such a tiny thing compared to 65. It’s scary. Seeing brands, designers, that for me were idols, just disappear. But I know that I’m evolving, I’m always looking forward, and I’m never looking back. I’m very attached to my roots, but I never look back, only forward.

I’m not only a designer, not only the creative director; I own, with my brother and my nephews, the company. You must take care of the image, you must take care of the markets, and you bear witness to all these immense changes.

IMAGE COURTESY OF SCOTT RUDD
Credits: images courtesy of Missoni

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