Missoni Says Vittorio Missoni, Partner Missing in Venezuela

Vittorio Missoni and his partner are missing in Venezuela after the small plane they were traveling in vanished, the Italian fashion house said yesterday.

The company is working with the Italian foreign ministry in aiding the searches under way, Sumirago-based Missoni SpA said in a statement. Two other passengers and two crew members were aboard, Venezuelan authorities said. Reports have identified Missoni’s partner as Maurizia Castiglioni.

The plane left the archipelago of Los Roques for the Caracas airport at 11:29 a.m. local time on Jan. 4, Justice and Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in a telephone call on state television in Venezuela. The craft was last reported 10 nautical miles (18 kilometers) from Los Roques, he said.

“In accordance with international aviation norms, it is declared officially disappeared,” Reverol said. Venezuela sent two planes and two patrol boats to locate the missing craft.

Missoni’s younger brother, Luca, was traveling to Venezuela yesterday, the Associated Press reported. The fashion brand’s founder Ottavio and his wife Rosita were at their home in Italy, awaiting information on the search, AP said, citing Corriere della Serra.

The Missoni fashion house began in 1953, when Ottavio and Rosita set up a workshop in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, according to the company’s web site. Vittorio, Luca and their sister Angela eventually became owners of the company, which lists Madonna and Jennifer Lopez among its celebrity clients.

Abstract Florals

Vittorio is responsible for the company’s marketing, the site said.

Missoni knitwear is known for its multitude of patterns, which feature colored stripes, geometric patterns and abstract florals.

Over the years, Missoni has diversified its luxury-goods business. In 2005, Missoni and Rezidor Hotel Group AB signed an agreement to create Missoni hotels, five-star properties with interiors designed by the Italian company.

In September 2011, discount retailer Target Corp. began sales of Missoni-branded products, which included clothing, housewares and bikes. Target’s web site crashed on the first day of sales, overwhelmed by demand.

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