My interview with Angela Missoni: On happiness, Havaianas and fashion advice every mother should pass on to their daughters…

 

Angela Missoni is a beautiful woman. Raven- haired and gray-eyed, she is one of those women who becomes even more beautiful the more you talk to them. It is not just because of the things that she says, but the way she says it, with those little Italian gestures. She has an affable and easy-going manner that immediately makes everyone around her feel at ease. I was seated beside Angela, at an elegant lunch hosted by Havaianas’ Anne Gonzalez at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore, to celebrate the launch of the Limited Edition Missoni Havaianas in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, and I asked her if I could interview her after the lunch. “Why wait? Ask away!”, she answers gamely as she deftly picks up a scallop with her chopsticks.   

What inspired you to create the Limited Edition Missoni Havaianas ?

It was my idea to have a collaboration with Havaianas.  My family and I have been using Havaianas for years, and I thought: Havaianas would look great with an iconic Missoni pattern. So, I searched for someone I could talk to within the Havaianas organization and I met the gentleman in charge of Havaianas in Europe. He brought it up to Brazil and 2 months later, we were designing it!  I put my daughter, Margherita in charge of it. She came up with the idea of putting a heart in the logo.  We love Havaianas! I wear it. My children wear it. We never travel without our Havaianas.

What does the Missoni Woman and the Havaianista have in common?

The woman who loves Havaianas is very free, very playful. She loves to travel. She is relaxed and she likes to have fun and be happy.  I would describe the Missoni woman in the same way, as well. A Missoni woman is confident and joyful. She has a sense of humor and a sense of fun. This is why this collaboration between Havaianas and Missoni makes perfect sense!

If you pack for a trip to a tropical island, what would you bring?

I always pack my Missoni bikini, which is the best bikini in the world, tank tops and sarongs. My favorite look is a tank top tucked into a sarong. I live in that all summer. And of course, I wear it with my Havaianas.

How do you define sexy?

I prefer the word sensual. Being sensual is a state of mind. It defies age, it even defies how a woman looks. A woman is seductive when she is comfortable in her own skin. It is the way she talks, the way she moves, the way she relates to people, the way she puts her clothes together. Some women think sexy is about the lack of clothes! Showing too much skin does NOT make a woman sexy!

 What is the one thing in life that one should never sacrifice?

That is simple… Love. Without love, life would have no meaning!

 What is the best thing about growing up?

It is very freeing to grow up and grow older. Things make sense, you have experience and so you are wiser. You are comfortable and accept who you are. I was never afraid of growing old. I cannot understand why women should be. I felt more secure with myself as I got older.  As you grow older, you learn that you can survive the bad things that happen in life. You understand your capabilities. You earn things, you learn things and you gain confidence. I do not really think about age and I never feel sad over it. Just the other day, my boyfriend turned 65 and I thought: How can this be ?  I feel like the same person as the day when we first met and to me, he is the same. Time just flew by and I wasn’t watching it or worrying about it. I was busy living my life!

What is the most important fashion advice you gave your daughter?

Never show too much skin. It does not make a girl more beautiful or sexier or more alluring! If you are wearing a short dress, do not show your cleavage. If you are wearing something with a deep neckline, wear a longer hemline. If you are baring your tummy, cover your arms and legs. A woman must have some mystery!

 What is the best thing about working with your family?

The best thing about working with my family is that we get to share each other’s lives. Like now, we are here in Singapore for work, and because we are together, it can feel like a vacation. We have fun together and we have a chance to experience new things together. It’s wonderful… especially if you get along! If you do not get along, I am sure it would be different (laughs). Back in Italy, we spend our days always in each other’s space at the office and we live not too far from each other. So when we get home from work or on weekends, we are not calling each other up on the telephone, like other families might do, to let each other know about their days. We already know how each other’s day went, we lived it together. We know we are very lucky and we do not take it for granted.

What is the secret to being happy?

 In my family, ever since we were kids, my parents taught us to value the simple things. So, it is really very easy to make us happy. And we have the attitude of always looking at the bright side. This attitude is very Missoni and very Havaianas!  When things are tough, we say: okay, there is this problem, focus on finding the solution. And if there is no solution, keep your eyes looking forward and things will get better. We are just happy people. I think we are blessed with happy genes from my parents. We always carry joy and hope with us no matter what happens.

If you had 100$ to spend in a flea market, what would you spend it on?

 Oh! I love flea markets! My favorite is the Porte de Vanves in Paris.  I go early morning till noon. I’ve been to so many flea markets through the years… but I never go with the intention of buying something. You must allow yourself to be seduced! Whether it’s a book, a vintage dress, a vase, art or an antique, it has to beckon you! I also never spend $100! I try and spend less! (laughs). I love to haggle! Whenever I travel, I make it a point to go to the local flea markets, the fruit and farmer’s market, and even the grocery! I enjoy looking at the different products, the packaging, and the styling. I find it very interesting and inspiring.

 Complete this summer outfit:

White Jeans -

Angela: White tank top, and Missoni Havaianas

A Vintage Missoni Cardigan-

Angela: a sundress and sandals

Khaki shorts-

Angela: I love to wear khaki shorts with a Missoni top and my favorite Havaianas.

Quick quiz:

Beach Cottage or Cabin in the woods-

Angela: I like to have it all….a tree house by the beach.

George Clooney or Brad Pitt-

Angela:  Hmmm…I’ve already met George Clooney, so … Brad Pitt

Red wine or Mojito-

Angela: Red wine

Lipstick or perfume-

Angela: Perfume

Eat out or Dine in-

Angela: Dine in! Well… depends who is cooking! (laughs)

I watch Angela challenge her daughter, Margherita to pick up a crabmeat-stuffed Longan with a chopstick, and I listen to Vittorio explain Northern Italian Cuisine to Havaianas’ Anne Gonzalez. I can almost see what family meals must be like at the Missoni family table. I imagine it must be filled with warmth, fun and boisterous laughter! That seems very Missoni….and come to think of it, that is very Havaianas, too!

Psssst:  Limited Edition Missoni Loves Havaianas are available on May 25 (Singapore) at Missoni Store, Hilton Shopping Gallery, Inbabit and Tyan. June 1 (Malaysia) at M store, The Garden and Penang

XOXO,

sassy

 

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Angela

37 Responses “My interview with Angela Missoni: On happiness, Havaianas and fashion advice every mother should pass on to their daughters…”

  1. angel castano says:

    Great interview on Angela Missoni Ms. S, you’re brilliant! Would love to know when they will start selling the Limited Edition Missoni Havs in Manila or in Singapore so I can send someone to purchase for me, I have to have them or I will die :-) (There goes the drama queen in me :-) ) xoxo

  2. Sassy says:

    Thank You! You made my day! Okay, Lady A… relax, you’ll get one-In Manila- Missoni Havs are out on Monday. Where? check the Havaianas Philippines facebook. For Singapore, this Wednesday at Inhabit, Tyan and the Missoni store at Hilton Shopping Gallery. There ‘s the slim style and a unisex Top style:-) They are super electric/ neon colors:-) You are going to love it!

  3. angel castano says:

    You’re a STAR! Thank you so much!

  4. Rachel says:

    Hi Sassy! Great interview! I love that you captured Angela as an artist, a fashionista, a mother and most of a woman.

    Are they as beautiful in person as they are in photographs????

    Rxx

  5. Pat pat pat says:

    Awesome interview S! I would have been too starstuck to eat beside, much less talk to her! I like what she said – sexy is not about showing too much skin.

    Angel, I think you can get the pairs in Adora in Greenbelt 5 when they come out!

  6. Miss E says:

    I also love her advice about not showing too much skin. I must take that on board. Great interview. xoxo

  7. angel castano says:

    Thanks Pat, I’ll send my friend or my cousin there as I live in Hong Kong, I don’t think they’ll sell it here as I have not heard anything about it. xoxo

  8. Sassy says:

    Hi P! Believe me, I was struggling to eat and talk:-)hahaha!

  9. Sassy says:

    Hi Miss e! Thanks!:-)

  10. tatalonia says:

    How Sassy gets Angela to answer such instructing replies is because Sassy has the knack of posting very smart questions. I love how Sassy writes. She’s a pro and i can’t wait for a novel by her. It’s sure to be a best seller just like Havaianas.

  11. Maharl says:

    Brilliant interview! Loved her insight on finding happiness in the very simple things, hence it’s easy to be happy. That’ll be my mantra from here on. You’re a natural at this, Sass. Looking fwd to more of your work! Hugs from London…

  12. Sassy says:

    Aw Shucks! Thanks Tatalonia and Maharl! Big hugs right back at yah!

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