Fashion heir and wife among six feared dead as aircraft disappears off coast of VenezuelaDirector of Italian fashion house Missoni was returning from a holidayVenezuelan air and sea rescue services continue to look for the plane
00:20 GMT, 6 January 2013
10:27 GMT, 6 January 2013
The director of Italian fashion house Missoni was feared dead last night when a small aircraft he was travelling in vanished off the coast of Venezuela.
Vittorio Missoni, heir to the family-owned label, and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, were among six people on board the twin-engine plane when it disappeared on Friday morning.
The 58-year-old, who co-owns the brand with his siblings Luca and Angela, is understood to have been returning from a Christmas and New Year holiday with his wife and two friends, Italian businessman Guido Foresti and his wife Elda Scalvenzi.
Missing: Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni are feared dead after the aircraft they were flying in disappeared
Beautiful: Los Roques, a pristine archipelago of 42 islands 95 miles off Venezuela's coast. Missoni was there on a fishing holiday
Two Venezuelan pilots were also on board, German Mechan, 72, and Juan Fernandez, 45.
Last night, Venezuelan air and sea rescue services, including an ocean-searching naval vessel, continued to look for the plane, which went missing after taking off from the resort of Los Roques.
The archipelago, 95 miles off Venezuela’s coast, is a popular holiday destination.
The alarm was raised after the plane failed to land at Simon Bolivar international airport, about 12 miles from the capital Caracas.
No trace of it has been found.
Venezuelan air and sea rescue services continued to look for the plane (pictured) which went missing after taking off from the resort of Los Roques
Luxury: Actress Sofia Vergara in a Missoni dress
Maddalena Aspes, a spokesman for Missoni, said: ‘The family has been informed by the Venezuelan consulate that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing.
'We don’t know any more.’ She added that relatives were travelling back to Italy from a holiday in France.
It is also understood that Mr Missoni’s younger brother Luca, the company’s creative director, is travelling to Venezuela to help in the search.
Messages of support flooded on to social media site Twitter yesterday, while Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani posted a message on the magazine’s website saying: ‘Bring Vittorio Missoni home.’
Mr Missoni worked as marketing director of the company, which was founded by his parents ex-Olympian Ottavio, 92, and Rosita in 1958, while his sister Angela designed both womenswear and menswear.
Another plane with eight Italians on board disappeared in the same area exactly five years ago. Only the body of the co-pilot was found.