When we grow up, we want to be Margherita Missoni Maccapani Amos. Nobody is as effortlessly chic and conscious of her family and the way in which she wants to live her day to day. After spending almost an hour on the phone with her, we couldn’t believe how charming, down to earth and honest she was in what she needs to create a calm and happy lifestyle and we want to be a part of it. Lucky for us, she’s launched her own adorable line of children’s wear, Margherita Kids which sells at major retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s, and now has a new collaboration with Pottery Barn Kids. The furniture and bedding line is available in stores nationwide. Now, if only we were hopping in the car with her to explore the Italian countryside. A girl can dream…
You spent five years learning your family business before starting your own line, Margherita Kids in 2015. What has that experience been like and what are your plans for your brand?
The reason why I left Missoni was because I wanted to have a different rhythm and schedule. I wanted to have less people depending on me and I wanted to be able to take care of my kids more. When you are in a corporate environment it’s always difficult, even if it’s your family’s company. My life fits my needs much better right now.
Margherita Kids is a license with an American company and I have two employees working for me in Italy. We work in a very modern way with FedEx packages and conference calls, so I work a lot less than I used to and I have a lot more satisfaction as a result.
My friend who works with me also has kids and my nanny will look after all of them together and we can move our work schedule around the kids. I think that’s something really great about today and this new way of working. It’s much closer to women’s needs.
You travel a lot for work, how do you manage that with your family?
The good thing about traveling nowadays is that it’s so much easier than it used to be. I’m extremely well located where I live, 20 minutes from Malpensa Airport which gets me anywhere in the world on a direct flight and I’m 40 minutes outside of Milan. I can go to London for the day and be home by dinner, or I could go to London for dinner and be home the next day. I go to New York, Paris, usually for just a few days at a time but I do quite a few trips throughout the year.
Do you have a company mantra or set of ideals that mean something to you? What do you value in your company culture?
It’s really important to me, and those that work with me, to believe in the project. If you feel it, whether you are managing design or communication, whatever your role, it makes the company more successful. I think it creates an effortless culture that carries over to those you work with outside of the company as well.
Also, taking responsibility for your work and understanding that it’s a choice that you made, and not something that was forced upon you. I’m good at delegating, and I want people to really feel a part of a project, rather than just working for it.
And of course, not taking your work too seriously. I like to see the lightness in it all. At the end of the day we’re not changing the world and we always have to keep that in mind.
“And of course, not taking your work too seriously. I like to see the lightness in it all. At the end of the day we’re not changing the world and we always have to keep that in mind.”
How has becoming a mother to your two sons changed your outlook on your career? What advice would you give to mamas trying to balance work and family life?
Giving yourself a general schedule so you know what hours you have to work, and which are those you devote to kids is necessary. You don’t want them to overlap too much. Having a good nanny is also very important! I’d be lost without her. And most importantly, always have a Plan B. When something doesn’t go as planned, like a kid get’s sick, one should be able to detach from the original plan and embrace what comes your way.
Your family is fashion royalty, with your grandparents starting the legendary Missoni label in the 50s. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from them?
The good and bad thing about working for your family’s company is that your job never ends at the end of the day and it’s not confined to specific area. You overlook the company as if it’s your own business which was beneficial and I was able to get a real sense of the “whole” even if it wasn’t my side of the business. Take sales for example, I’ve done the meetings, I’ve dealt with the retailers… I know how it all works. It’s helpful when you are setting up your own business as you can evaluate whether people are the right fit for the job you are hiring for.
I always think, whatever you do might be completely pointless if it’s not done at the right time. Missoni came out when pret-a-porter was being born and they were doing something that nobody else was doing. My grandparents used knitwear in a new way and it made sense at that time. At the same time, you need to have a vision. If not, you just go with whatever is already happening in the marketplace and that never works. Having a vision for what is the next thing will help drive your success.
I saw what my grandparents did and when thinking about my own career, I got into children’s clothing because I had two babies and I realized there was space in the market for this line and the offerings were still a lot less than in normal adult fashion. There was space, it made sense for my life, so here I am!
You just launched a collection with Pottery Barn Kids this Spring which we are SO excited for. What was the creative process like and what item is your favorite from the line?
It was great experience working with them. They are truly professional and they know what they can, and can’t, do. I’m a creative person who happens to listen to the production and distribution side – I’m not just interested in the design, so it was a great collaboration. My favorite piece from the line is definitely the Daisy chair.
“Always have a Plan B. When something doesn’t go as planned, like a kid get’s sick, one should be able to detach from the original plan and embrace what comes your way.”
Do you have plans to open a shop for your children’s line?
I don’t have any plans now, but I would certainly like that. Ideally I would like to have a whole children’s world – the clothing, the furniture, the pictures, the garland – and then it makes sense to open a store. But I need to have more products than I have now.
You spent time living in New York in your 20s. How do you think raising a family in the US differs from raising one in Italy?
I lived in New York for five years. I’m not sure about the difference from New York to Italy but I can talk about big city vs small village. The difference is that I really want my kids to experience the provincial life, outside of the city. Especially considering the fashion world I live in – I would have never brought up my kids in New York. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad for them, it’s just far from what I know. Personally, I need to escape the country and get infused by the energy of a place like New York, but I love that my 6 year old can go out on the street by himself and go to the local shop to buy a loaf of bread.
You have over 100K followers on Instagram. How do you think social media influences your style/your brand and do you have any favorite feeds to find inspiration?
Social media is a great source for research. I have a knowledge in childrenswear, of which I knew nothing until four years ago, which is all due to social media. I now think I know just as much about childrenswear as I do about womenswear, which is pretty remarkable. I come across amazing children’s brands and children’s magazines that are constantly teaching and inspiring me. I also use Pinterest for research all the time. It’s become very useful as for every project we have, we create mood boards.
Some of my favorite feeds are:
“I always think, whatever you do might be completely pointless if it’s not done at the right time.”
How would your best friend describe you?
Bossy, caring and curious.
What does your perfect weekend look like? With Kids? Without?
I love to travel somewhere I haven’t been to. It’s always fun to just get in the car and drive to city here in Italy that we haven’t discovered yet. As for a weekend without the kids? Just last weekend my husband and I left the kids with my in-laws. At 3pm we booked a flight to Athens and we left at 5pm. We spent the whole weekend away and got back on Sunday afternoon.
What are you reading right now?
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Your travels have been well documented and featured in the pages of Vogue. We’re always looking for the next travel destination. What is on your list for 2017?
I want to go to Kyoto for the cherry blossoms. Bhutan is always on the top of my list. I also want to go to Georgia.
Where do you stay/eat/play/shop while visiting New York?
EAT: I love Sugar Fish and Omen Azen. People always try to take me out for Italian food but I don’t eat Italian food when I’m in New York. I also love the chocolate chip smoothie from Juice Press and the chia seed parfait and raw chocolate balls at Organic Avenue. And of course, you can eat morning, noon and night at Pietro Nolita.
PLAY: The Top of the Standard (formerly known as the Boom Boom Room) at the Standard Hotel is a great spot for a drink.
What are your Three Pearls of Motherhood Wisdom?
- The best advice I give to new mothers, and also something I’ve had to learn myself, is to go with the flow, you can’t control everything.
- Everyone needs to read, The Good Enough Parent by Bruno Bettelheim. I think it’s something important to understand and accept.
- Follow your gut.
Shop Margherita Kids below: