Missoni scion on small plane missing in Venezuela
In this photo taken on March 30, 2005 Vittorio Missoni, right, and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni smile in Milan, Italy. The search resumed Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 for a small plane that has disappeared off the Venezuelan coast with six people aboard, including Vittorio Missoni, a top executive in Italy's Missoni fashion house, officials said. Vittorio Missoni, 58, is the director general of the iconic brand and the eldest son of the company's founder. Flying with him on Friday's flight from Venezuela's Los Roques resort archipelago to Caracas, was Missoni's wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, two Italian friends of the couple, and a crew of two Venezuelans. (AP Photo/Livio Valerio, Lapresse)
ROME (AP) — Rescue crews used boats and aircraft on Saturday to search for a small plane that disappeared in Venezuela carrying the CEO of Italy's iconic Missoni fashion house and five other people.
But 24 hours after the BN-2 Islander aircraft disappeared from radar screens on its short flight from Venzuela's coastal resort island of Los Roques to Caracas, the capital, no sign of the plane had been found, officials said.
"We have no other news" about the plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, the head of the company; his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni; two of their Italian friends; and two Venezuelan crew members, said Paolo Marchetti, a Missoni SpA official. He spoke briefly to reporters as he left company headquarters in the northern Italian town of Sumirago on Saturday afternoon.
Missoni's younger brother, Luca, who is active in the family-run business, was reportedly traveling to Venezuela on Saturday to monitor search efforts.
"We're holding onto a glimmer of hope," said Oswaldo Scalvenzi , a relative of Elda Scalvenzi, one of the Missoni friends aboard the flight. "Until we can see the wreckage" hope will remain, Scalvenzi told Italian state TV on Saturday night.
The La Repubblica.it, website of the Rome newspaper said Venezuelan aircraft, motorboats and helicopters took off at dawn Saturday to resume the search for the missing plane, which had been suspended on Friday night. The Italian news agency ANSA, reporting from Rome, said a specialized ocean-searching naval vessel also was being deployed.
In this undated photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of the Interior and Justice Press Office, a plane that went missing sits on the tarmac of the airport in Los Roques, Venezuela. Venezuela's Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the plane was declared missing hours after taking off Friday, Jan. 5, 2013 from Los Roques, a string of islands, cays and islets that is popular for scuba diving, white beaches and coral reefs. He said the plane was expected at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas but didn't arrive and that the four Italian tourists aboard had spent their Christmas and New Year at the resort. The plane had two Venezuelan crew members. (AP Photo/Ministry of the Interior and Justice Press Office)
Vittorio Missoni is the eldest son of the company's founder, Ottavio, who at 91 still follows the business.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that Ottavio and his wife Rosita were at their home in Italy, along with their daughter Angela, creative director of the company, waiting for information about the search. Rosita Missoni designs housewares for the company, and Angela's daughter, Margherita, has been infusing its classic designs with fresh appeal.
The Missoni fashion house, with its trademark zigzag and other geometric patterns in sweaters, scarves and other knitwear, is one of Italy's most famous fashion brands abroad.
Vittorio Missoni played a key role in marketing the Missoni family creations in Asia, especially in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea as general director of marketing for Missoni SpA. He also spearheaded a push for the company's products in the United States and France. His efforts to expand the brand abroad led Missoni to be dubbed the company's "ambassador."