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Moschino | Iconic Designer

Born in Abbiategrasso, Italy in 1950, Franco Moschino dreamed of being a painter but fell in love with fabric when he began freelancing as a fashion illustrator to support himself while studying Fine Arts. He channelled that passion into his career, working within fashion powerhouses before setting up on his own.

Now under the leadership of Jeremy Scott, Moschino has been showcased by a number of celebrities and continues to produce collections with an element of rebellion in tribute to Franco.

4 May 2021

Moschino founds Moonshadow

Following a successful start to his career illustrating for Versace and designing for Cadette, Franco Moschino founded his own company in 1983, named ‘Moonshadow’. His first couture line was picked up immediately and the label grew from there.

Accessories, jeans and a men’s collection were launched in 1986 and, one year later, the first Moschino fragrance was created.

Catering to a wider demographic, Moschino launched a ‘Cheap and Chic’ collection, making the label more accessible with a cheaper price point.

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Fashion rebellion

Franco Moschino became famous for ridiculing the fashion industry. He sent clothes down the runway with mocking statements over the designs, including 'Ready to Where?', 'Good Taste Doesn’t Exist' and 'Fashion is Full of Chic'. He once even interrupted his own fashion show in an effort to display how absurd the industry was.

He viewed himself quite apart from other fashion houses, insisting that he didn’t invent the designs, but rather repurposed common pieces. In a 1986 interview with Vogue, Moschino remarked, 'That’s why I’ve often declared that I have never invented anything. Rather, I have remade, re-proposed, reinterpreted. I consider myself a commentator'.

Philanthropic powerhouse

While somewhat of a controversial figure within the fashion industry, Moschino had a big heart. He even launched the Smile! campaign to support children effected by AIDS. Hugely philanthropic, Franco dedicated much of his income to charity. He is recorded to have said to his assistant, Rosella Jardini, when very unwell himself, ‘You must keep going; raise a lot of money for people in this world who need it and don’t have it’.

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Sustainability focussed

In keeping with this charitable nature, his focus was an early interpretation of sustainability, promoting recycling in an ironic and dramatic form. For example, he designed a plastic coat with a recycle symbol printed on it. Advocating for animal rights, fur and leather were removed from all collections. In the year he died, a sustainability-focussed collection called ‘Ecouture’ was launched.

Rosella Jardini takes over

In 1994, Franco Moschino died aged just 44. Prior to his premature death, Franco did manage to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his own label with a show that benefitted charity and the publication of the brand’s book, ‘X Years of Chaos’.

Taking the lead as Creative Director, Franco’s former assistant, Rosella Jardini, made a concerted effort to move the collections away from the sarcastic designs her predecessor had so virulently pursued. The brand became less contentious under her reign as the collections became less controversial.

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Aeffe buy Moschino

Moschino was bought by Aeffe in 1999 and since this acquisition, the label has been worn by celebrities at many public events. Kylie Minogue wore Moschino in her 2005 Showgirl tour and the label was worn during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in 2006. In October 2008, Moschino launched their kidswear line.

Jeremy Scott becomes Creative Director

Appointed Creative Director in 2013, Scott has honoured Moschino’s original rebellion, making a return to the more contentious designs of the label’s founder and thus making the label a talking point within the industry once more.

The reinvention of some well-known logos printed on Moschino’s collections have proven popular with buyers. Scott has also enlisted the assistance of his close celebrity friends to represent the label, including Rita Ora, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, driving up sales phenomenally.

All images by Moschino

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