“Warning: fashion shows can be dangerous to your health”, “Life is many attitudes, so is fashion”, and “Good taste doesn’t exist”. Just some of the slogans that have featured in Moschino’s ad campaigns over the years. And it is this ability to provoke and challenge, combined with a critical approach to the so-called icons of haute couture that has helped make Italian designer Franco Moschino world famous.
Born in 1950 near Milan, Franco Moschino wanted to be a painter. To finance his studies in the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Brera, he began to design clothes for different Italian fashion houses. Soon his interest shifted from painting to design. A needle became his paintbrush, the fabrics his canvas. He was lucky enough to work for the Versace group from 1971 to 1977, when he was hired by the Italian fashion house Cadette.
During this time, he trained and spent his time observing the work of these “made-in-Italy” ambassadors. In 1983, Franco Moschino created his own company, Moonshadow, launching the label Moschino Couture! He started off with jeans and casual wear, quickly followed by shoes, lingerie, highly original eveningwear and then perfume. Five years later, the Italian brand expanded with the creation of the “Cheap and Chic” womenswear line.
Elegant design, perfect mastery of the classic techniques of “cutting and stitching” inherited from the Italian tailoring tradition together with a sharp, mocking humor are Mochino hallmarks. From Madonna to Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Silversted and Fran Descher (TV star of The Nanny), celebrities love Moschino’s quirky, original style.
The buttons on his classic blazers are fried eggs or plastic windmills, while furry teddy-bears huddle together to make up a winter hat. Golden safety pins adorn a sexy strapless evening top, all helping make the Italian designer’s clothes instantly recognizable. Among his most popular creations are brightly printed waistcoats, rigid handbags, an incredible range of T-shirts, polka dot “Minnie Mouse” dresses and richly decorated black satin evening dresses.
The popularity of the Italian brand grew so much that Moschino ended up becoming one of the internationally famous fashion designers he so famously mocked in his work. The “bull chic” line inspired by matadors and as the “expensive jacket” with gold embroidered on the cashmere fabric, are just two examples of the many Moschino designs cocking a snook at classic haute couture tradition. But ironically, they are also the reason Moschino has become one of the most famous Italian fashion houses in the world.
Franco Moschino died prematurely in 1994. His former assistant, Rossella Jardini, took over the reins of the Italian brand becoming its Creative Director. Since 2009 she’s been assisted by the Managing Director Alessandro Varisco. Under their leadership, the company has expanded all over the world, with boutiques in the five continents, from Europe to China, the Middle East, New York and Russia. The Italian fashion house, Moschino S.p.A., owned by Aeffe SpA (producer of Moschino since 1983) and Sportswear International SpA (SINV HOLDING S.p.A. since 2006) now has a yearly turnover estimated at 300 million Euros.
Apart from Moschino and Moschino Cheap and Chic, there are other lines: Love Moschino (originally Moschino Jeans), brings together jeans and casualwear. There’s Moschino’s boys and girls collections as well as an accessories lines ranging from perfumes (the Olive Oyl- shaped Cheap and Chic parfum is one of the most world’s most famous fragrances) to jet helmets.
In 2010 Rossella Jardini opened Maison Moschino, a hotel situated in the heart of Milan which was designed in collaboration with Malaysian architect Jo Ann Tan. Reflecting the Italian fashion house’s style and originality, the hotel has 65 rooms and suites inspired by fairy tales. That same year the famous GUM department stores in Moscow’s Red Square of Moscow hosted “Inside Moschino”, a retrospective on the Italian brand, putting its collections and accessories on show to the public.
Franco Moschino has left an indelible mark on fashion history and although no longer with us, his sense of irony, his playfulness, individuality and genius still live on through the work being created by the Moschino Group.
Moschino S.p.A.Via San Gregorio, 28
20124 Milano, Italy
Tel: [+39] 02 6787731
Fax: [+39] 02 67877301 or [+39] 02 67877302