Franco Moschino (February 27, 1950 – September 18, 1994) was an Italian fashion designer remembered for his witty, colorful, lively and provocative designs which not only challenged, but poked fun at, the fashion establishment.
He was born in Abbiategrasso, Lombardy, located c. 22 km from Milan. Before becoming a fashion designer, he attended Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan to study fine arts in 1967 hoping to become a painter. To finance his studies, he worked as a freelance fashion illustrator. Eventually, his interest shifted from paints and canvases to fabric and tailoring. His fashion career began in 1971 when he became an illustrator for Gianni Versace, and continued to work for him for another six years. From 1977 to 1982 he designed for the Italian label Cadette. His father died when he was four.
He founded his own company, Moonshadow, in 1983 and launched the Moschino Couture! label that same year. At first, he designed casualwear and jeans, but his line eventually expanded to lingerie, eveningwear, shoes, menswear and perfumes. In 1988, he launched a less expensive Cheap and Chic line. His designs were very innovative and unusual such as quilted black denim miniskirt with plastic fried eggs decorating the hemline, quilted jacket decorated with bottle tops, plug-socket drop earrings, and bodices made out of safety pins. He was dubbed the Jean-Paul Gaultier of Italian fashion for his highly innovative designs but their styles are different; while Gaultier experiments with different fabrics and shapes, Moschino used basic forms and traditional methods. He also spoofed high fashion lines through his clothes. For example, “Expensive Jacket” was embroidered in gold across the back of a cashmere jacket, and “Bull Chic” on a matador-styled outfit. He also mocked the fashion classics such as the Chanel jacket with garish trimmings and details. Ironically, many rushed to wear his clothes, thus becoming successful and famous in the industry he satirized.
Moschino passed away at 44 on September 18, 1994, of cardiac arrest resulting from complications from an abdominal tumor.
Since his death, Rossella Jardini, his former assistant, has been creative director of the brand. Moschino clothes have been worn by celebrities such as Fran Drescher on her hit television show The Nanny, Alicia Silverstone, Kylie Minogue, Gwyneth Paltrow and Anna Friel.
In October 2013 Jeremy Scott becomes Moschino’s Creative Director, Showing his first Moschino Collection in fall 2014. Jeremy Scott’s first Moschino fragrance called Moschino Toy, is a unisex scent that looks like a teddy bear.