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On Friday morning, a private plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, head of the Italian fashion house, his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, two friends, and two pilots disappeared from radar contact while en route to Caracas, Venezuela.
Though rescue crews—including boats with high-powered sonar—searched the area around the islands throughout the weekend, the plane has not been located.
"Our hope is that he is still alive," Vittorio Missoni's sister Angela Missoni told Italian paper La Repubblica. "We want to hope, because for us it is important."
Missoni was returning to Italy from a Christmas and New Year fishing holiday in Venezuela with his wife and other friends on the island resort of Los Roques when the plane disappeared at approximately 11:30 Friday morning, the Telegraph reports.
Angela Missoni, who is the head designer of the company and co-owns the Italian house with siblings Vittorio and Luca Missoni, the company's Creative Director, said she received the news while on vacation in Oman with her parents Rosita and Ottavio Missoni, who founded the company in 1953. Per the Telegraph:
"Miss Missoni said she told her mother immediately, and called Italian diplomatic authorities to activate search efforts. The two decided to tell the elder patriarch Ottavio Missoni only the following morning.
'We decided to let him rest, he was very tired,' Miss Missoni was quoted saying in La Repubblica. "When, at 5.30 in the morning he saw us all standing and he looked at our faces and said 'What happened? I am 92, but I'm not stupid'. And so we told him the truth."
The family of entrepreneur Guido Foresti and his wife Elda Scalvenzi—the friends who were on the plane with Vittorio Missoni told an Italian TV station that they, too, are holding out hope. Per the AP: "Until we can see the wreckage," hope will remain, Oswaldo Scalvenzi said.
Vittorio's niece, model Margherita Missoni, has reached out to her Twitter followers with a request for any information about the plane. The hashtag #FindVittorioMissoni was trending on Style.com's Tweet Chic aggregator over the weekend.
The Missoni company has also posted an official statement on their Facebook page:
"The Missoni company today confirms that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing in Venezuela. The small plane they were travelling on has disappeared. This is all the information currently available. We are relying on the work of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all the institutions involved, to whom we are gratetful for the prompt activities in the research. As more information becomes available the company will issue further statements. The company asks the press to kindly respect the family's privacy at this time."
· Missoni family hold hope fashion mogul still alive [Telegraph]
· Fashion Boss From Italy Lost in Flight Off Venezuela [NYT]