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Missoni family, Iman receive Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards

October 24, 2011 |  1:13 pm

Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Iman Missoni
The stage was barely big enough to hold all of the members of the Missoni family who traveled from Italy to Beverly Hills to receive the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award on Sunday night. It was the first time the honor has been bestowed on an entire family.

Photo Gallery: Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards

On hand to celebrate were Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the family patriarch and matriarch, who founded the knitwear empire nearly 60 years ago; their daughter Angela Missoni, who designs the collection; and Angela's two brothers Vittorio and Luca, who run the business.

The third generation was well represented too. It included Margherita Missoni, star of the recent Missoni for Target commercial, who is now designing for the company in Milan; Ottavio Jr., who is learning the ropes of production; and actress Jennifer Missoni, who is carrying on the family name in Hollywood.

The colors and patterns of their designs "are like the notes of a beautiful love song," said family friend and self-described "Missoni junkie" Quincy Jones, who presented the award to what he dubbed the

"Sumirago posse" (a reference to the family's hometown).  He also referenced the brand's recent cheap chic collaboration, calling it the "tornado that hit Target."

Margherita missoniAs Angela Missoni accepted the award on behalf of her family, she told the crowd how proud she was that "this talented community embraces our clothing not only on the red carpet but in their personal life too." What Missoni has brought to fashion and style, she said, is "the idea that elegance can be informal."

It's an idea that seems very Los Angeles indeed. 

The evening's other honoree was Iman, a humanitarian known for her work with the Children's Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger and Raise Hope for Congo. She's an ambassador for Save the Children, helping to raise funds and awareness for the famine in East Africa, in particular her homeland of Somalia.

Iman also is the founder of Iman Cosmetics, the wife of David Bowie and a legendary fashion model about whom famed Vogue editor Diana Vreeland famously said, "Now that's a neck!" 

Iman's award was presented by her friend Rachel Zoe, who described her as "everything." "Your first modeling gig was the cover of Vogue after being in New York for like three days," Zoe said. But when Iman took the stage, and the slit of the nude Rachel Zoe maxi-skirt opened to reveal a flash of that famous leg, nothing more needed to be said about her beauty. The crowd nearly gasped.

Missoni JonesIman took a moment to speak about the famine in Somalia. "Women are being forced to abandon their children to die so they can save the others and get them to a feeding center. That kind of 'Sophie's choice' in 2011 is unacceptable."

Then she lightened the mood. Seemingly amused that a Walk of Style plaque with her signature and a quote will be encased in the sidewalk along Rodeo Drive. "Do come walk all over me, shop and be fabulous," she told guests.

(The quote on Iman's plaque reads, “Fashion and Cinema are global trends… from Hong Kong to Hollywood.” The Missoni plaque includes the quote, “Life is more with colors.") 

Afterward, the crowd -- which included Sofia Vergara, Mena Suvari, Nicky Hilton, Dwyane Wade, Missoni VergaraGabrielle Union and past Walk of Style honorees James Galanos and James Acheson -- lounged on couches with Missoni cushions, sipped champagne, nibbled on Italian bruschetta and pastries and bid on items in a silent auction to benefit Save the Children.

Iman and the Missoni family were the 17th and 18th recipients of the award, which was first presented in 2003 by the Rodeo Drive Committee and the city of Beverly Hills, to honor style legends for their contributions to fashion and entertainment. Past winners include Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Versace and Tom Ford.

Created by the late sculptor Robert Graham and standing 14 feet tall at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, the Torso sculpture is the symbol of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style. The Walk of Style Award, also designed by Graham, is a miniature version of the sculpture.

-- Booth Moore and Adam Tschorn


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Photos: From top left, stylist and designer Rachel Zoe, left, presents Iman with her Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award on Oct. 23. Members of the Missoni family listen as Angela Missoni, center, addresses the crowd gathered in the 400 block of North Rodeo Drive after the family received its Walk of Style Award. Margherita Missoni. Family friend and self-professed "Missoni junkie" Quincy Jones with family patriarch Ottavio "Tai" Missoni. Jennifer Missoni, left, with "Modern Family" actress Sofia Vergara. Credit: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages