Times Staff Writer

AN HEIRESS without attitude or an energy drink to promote? How refreshing. In fact, Margherita Missoni -- scion to the iconic knitwear empire -- doesn’t even name check the family brand when gushing about her favorite designers. Missoni, 25, hit Cannes on its first weekend to co-host a yacht party to benefit OrphanAid Africa; she helped design a rose gold and diamond bracelet selling on that supports the cause. She also acted in a short film showing at the festival.

Barefoot aboard a big boat, wearing floor-length, flowing white silk with a floral motif, Missoni sat down and gave us the lowdown on her own look.

Describe your personal style.

Very irrational and distinctive. I start from a piece that I want to wear and then I build on that. I am never matchy -- ugh. It’s hard to dissect my style but it is definitely bohemian.


Name your Cannes essentials.

It’s quite easy because you only have to pack gowns. I wish I had brought a trench coat because of the rain, but I didn’t think that far ahead. The most important thing is flats because you have to be ready for boats. I brought one pair of Vuitton patent-leather flats in white with all these gorgeous beads on them and a pair of Prada sandals.

Where do you stay here?

I am staying at the Majestic, and then next week, I come back and stay at the Martinez for amfAR [the annual fashion gala to support AIDS research]. I would rather stay at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes. It’s much more quiet there.

Where do you perch to watch the scenery?

Nowhere. I keep it tight, in the sense of timing, and go to events. I don’t hang out here that much. I love the South of France, but it is too intense and crazy for me.

Tell us about the movie you’re in.

It’s called “I Am an Island,” and I play the patient of a psychiatric unit. There is a screening and a party for it on Sunday. There are so many directors here I would love to work with, like Woody Allen.

As the face of Missoni, do you feel like you must always wear the brand?

No! I think it is more believable if I don’t wear Missoni all the time. If I wear other designers, people know that when I do wear Missoni, I actually like it. Right now, I am wearing my grandmother’s vintage nightgown. She gave it to me the other day, and I thought it was so beautiful.

OK. Pajamas and Missoni aside, which designers do you love?

I love Louis Vuitton and Givenchy. Giambattista Valli, Proenza Schouler and Lanvin too. Oh, so many. For jeans, I wear Seven and J Brand.

Do you have a life motto?

Judge for yourself. The only person whose judgment counts is your own. I try to live by that.