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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Son of fashion designer Missoni... MISSING!!!

The son of one of Italy's most celebrated fashion designers is missing after his small aircraft disappeared in Venezuela.

Vittorio Missoni, 58, was enjoying a New Year break with his wife and friends on the palm-fringed islands of Los Roques when their plane lost contact. The plane was last heard of about 10 miles south of the archipelago, while it was flying over the sea.

The flight on Friday was supposed to land at Simon Bolivar international airport about 12 miles from Caracas, but never arrived. It took off from Los Roques around 11am and went off the radar half an hour later.

Members of the Missoni clan and relatives of the Italian couple on holiday with them were last night still hoping that the plane may have been diverted, and were hurrying back to the family hometown of Sumirago, 30 miles north of Milan.

Italian foreign ministry officials said last night that they were working with Venezuelan authorities to conduct both air and sea searches for the plane.

According to Venezuela's justice and interior minister Nestor Reverol, the 1968 British twin engine Norman BN2 vanished on Friday while flying from Los Roques, where the Missoni couple had been spending Christmas and New Year at a resort. Mr Missoni had been on a fishing trip with his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, and Italian businessman Guido Foresti and his wife Elda Scalvenzi.

The string of 350 islands is known for world-class diving, pristine beaches and coral reefs, and has attracted famous faces such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Shakira and Harrison Ford.

And Friday's disappearance bears eerie similarities to another accident in the same place, on the same date - January 4 - five years ago.

That domestic Transaven flight attempted to ditch after its engines failed and disappeared into the sea without a trace, carrying 14 people, including eight Italians. Air and sea searches were called off without finding any sign of the aircraft. Some say the plane had actually been re-routed by Colombian drug smugglers who would then go on to use the planes for cocaine transport.

Mr Missoni's parents Ottavio and Rosita founded their eponymous fashion house in 1958, and earned international recognition for their brightly-coloured "hippy luxe" clothes, often featuring zigzag patterns and sumptuous knitwear in kaleidoscope colours.

Mr Missoni was the marketing director of the company - working alongside his brother Luca, the creative director, and sister Angela, who designed both women's and men's wear.

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