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Family of missing Italian fashion boss: 'We will not give up'

By CNN Staff
January 8, 2013 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, and others, disappeared off the coast of Venezuela
  • He runs the famed Missoni fashion house along with his siblings, Luca and Angela
  • Angela Missoni says the family is hopeful and has confidence in the search effort
  • The plane took off from Los Roques archipelago, north of Caracas, Friday morning

(CNN) -- The family of Italian fashion boss Vittorio Missoni expressed hope Monday that he might yet be found, more than three days after his plane went missing off the coast of Venezuela.

The small plane, carrying Vittorio Missoni, his wife and four others, last made contact about 10 nautical miles from shore on Friday. Vittorio Missoni, 58, is a director of the famed Missoni fashion house, which he runs with his siblings, Luca and Angela.

"We are full of hope and confidence for the work that the authorities have done so far. We will not give up," Angela Missoni said in a statement, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

She said her brother Luca is in Venezuela. As a pilot, he is involved in aerial searches of the area, she said.

A small plane carrying Italian fashion director Vittorio Missoni and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, has been missing off the coast of Venezuela since Friday, January 4. The couple is pictured in Milan, Italy, in 2010. A small plane carrying Italian fashion director Vittorio Missoni and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, has been missing off the coast of Venezuela since Friday, January 4. The couple is pictured in Milan, Italy, in 2010.
Italian fashion boss Missoni
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Photos: Italian fashion boss Missoni Photos: Italian fashion boss Missoni
Missing fashion mogul

"At this time, we have no further specific information regarding these efforts except to say we are confident they will continue at the same pace and that the search will explore all possible avenues," said Angela Missoni.

The aircraft left Los Roques, an archipelago and resort, Friday morning bound for the international airport outside Caracas, about 90 miles away, Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol Torres said.

Venezuelan authorities said four Italian tourists and two crew members were onboard.

Over the weekend, search efforts intensified as boats, helicopters and divers scoured the area for any sign of the missing plane.

Missoni, which boasts such celebrity clients as Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie, is a high-end fashion label known for its patterned knitwear and signature zigzag stripe.

The private company, based in Milan, has estimated annual sales of between $75 million and $100 million.

The brand, first created in 1953 as a knitwear workshop in Gallarte, Italy, has expanded from apparel to housewares, a fragrance line and a chain of hotels.

Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of W magazine, called the Missonis "one of the most important Italian fashion families," crediting their move to Milan in the late 1960s with helping make the northern Italian city the fashion hub it is today.

Vittorio Missoni and his siblings took over the brand in 1996 with an eye toward marketing to a younger consumer.

The fashion house partnered with Target in 2011 to produce a more budget-friendly collection for the discount retailer, which caused Target's website to crash due to the high demand.

CNN's Paula Newton contributed to this report.

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