Missoni Names Filippo Grazioli New Creative Director

MILAN — Missoni has named Filippo Grazioli its new creative director, WWD has learned.

In an exclusive interview, the brand’s CEO Livio Proli confirmed the appointment, saying that, while Grazioli’s first collection will bow at the end of May with the brand’s pre-collection for men and women, his first show will be staged for spring 2023 in September. He will not show a Missoni men’s collection separately in June.

Grazioli, born in the Marche region, will turn 41 on May 9 — coincidentally the day founder Ottavio Missoni died in 2013.

A graduate of Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design, Grazioli developed his career in Paris. During an internship at Staff International, he met Martin Margiela and went on to work with the designer on the women’s collections until 2013.

In 2015, after a stint as senior women’s designer at Hermès, he made another important personal encounter, meeting Riccardo Tisci and becoming director of the collections at Givenchy. Grazioli then followed Tisci to become director of the runway collection at Burberry.

“This is his opportunity for Filippo to become a number one, not everyone has the prerequisites to do so, but he does,” Proli said of Grazioli. “He has a serious methodology and he can modernize Missoni within a context that is constantly and quickly changing, while paying tribute to the brand and its roots. What I am looking for is a luxury hand, not a snob or conceptual.”

He cautioned against following trends “because you do things that are borderline, that don’t belong to you,” while seeking a “clean, very elegant image, sensual but not erotic or vulgar” for Missoni.

He believes there is a Missoni style, symbolized by the family, that has created a loyal community and that Grazioli will be able to make those “subliminal values” and codes his own in a modern way.

Grazioli “brings a wealth of outside experiences, and is passionate about Missoni; he did a study on the brand and is extremely motivated,” added Proli.

Alberto Caliri, who succeeded Angela Missoni as creative director ad interim in May last year, will cross over to the brand’s home collection and lead a new phase for the division, which is supervised by founder Rosita Missoni. He will also be in charge of the Missoni Sport line with consultant Davide Tognetti and work on the Missoni Lab training project at the company’s Sumirago headquarters.

Proli praised the “modern creativity” of Caliri, “a true artist who succeeded in refreshing the brand without betraying its roots and a long-term asset for Missoni, and an extension of the family.” Offering a sexier look and injecting a new edge into the brand’s geometric and signature motifs, his collections have garnered positive reviews.

Alberto Caliri Missoni
Alberto Caliri
CREDIT: Courtesy of Missoni

The change in creative direction is part of the five-year plan presented by Proli, who joined the company from the Giorgio Armani Group in 2020, after the Italian fund FSI took a 41.2 percent stake in the family-owned company in 2018.

Refreshing the collections and the brand’s image is proving to be successful as Proli was proud to reveal that Missoni closed 2021 with sales of 105 million euros, compared to 110 million euros in 2019, “recovering two years earlier than expected” and despite the closure of the M Missoni line.

“There are no more uncertainties, we aim to stay the course and amortize the unforeseeable factors,” Proli said.

Asked about Russia, Proli said Missoni does not have a business in the country, but he admitted the brand will feel the impact in its stores located in luxury resorts Saint Tropez, Portofino, Porto Cervo, Capri and Forte dei Marmi, long favored by wealthy Russian shoppers.

Proli is relaunching the Missoni Sport brand, which was licensed to Malerba and closed in 2007. Now produced in-house, it’s a wellness and comfort line, retailing at around 20 percent less than the signature brand, and feedback is strong, Proli reported.

The CEO also touted the relevance of the home line, which he sees as in snyc with the lifestyle appeal of the brand, and registers sales of around 30 million euros. “Missoni is a way of living,” he claimed, noting that interest in this division has heightened.

In October, Missoni signed an agreement with Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan to use its Missoni Home line to decorate the exclusive apartments and penthouses of the Urban Oasis, a 38-floor waterfront building that is under construction by the Dubai Water Canal.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2024, marks the first expansion of Missoni Home in the Emirates.

In the U.S., the company has partnered with OKO Group to create Missoni Baia, a 57-story, 249-unit building overlooking Biscayne Bay, expected to open at the end of the year.

“We want Missoni to return to shine in the U.S., where there is a very high brand awareness, and we want to recreate a distribution that is up to the label’s level,” said Proli, who is looking to open a store in Los Angeles by the end of the year. There are existing Missoni stores on Madison Avenue in New York and at Bal Harbour Shops. The U.S. is the largest market for the brand’s online business.

Other changes in the retail network include the relocation of the brand’s boutique in Rome, doubling its space. Relocations are also taking place in Munich and in Milan, where a store in Via Sant’Andrea will move to either Via Spiga or Via Verri. “We are in negotiations now,” Proli revealed.

China is also a priority. After opening stores in Shanghai and Chengdu, Missoni will open a unit in Beijing by the end of the year.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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