The head of one of Italy's top fashion houses Vittorio Missoni is feared dead after the private aircraft he was travelling in vanished off the coast of Venezuela on Friday (04Jan13).
The 58 year old, one of the owners his family's famed Missoni label, and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, were among six people, including two pilots, on board the twin-engine plane when it disappeared.
The fashion mogul, who co-owns the brand with his siblings Luca and Angela, is thought to have been returning from a holiday with his wife and two friends, Italian businessman Guido Foresti and his wife Elda Scalvenzi, when the aircraft went missing.
The alarm was raised when the plane failed to make its scheduled arrival at the Simon Bolivar International Airport, close to Venezuela's capital city Caracas.
Venezuelan air and sea rescue services were deployed to look for the plane, which went missing after taking off from the resort of Los Roques, but no trace had been found as Wenn went to press.
Maddalena Aspes, a spokesman for the Missoni fashion label, says, "The family has been informed by the Venezuelan consulate that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing. We don’t know any more."
The Missoni brand boast a number of celebrity fans, including British royal Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, supermodel Kate Moss and actress Sofia Vergara.