Milan Fashion Week starts on somber note

MILAN – Milan Fashion Week started off on a somber note Saturday, as the design world maintained a vigil for the missing CEO of the family-run Missoni fashion house.

The Italian National Fashion Chamber urged the fashion community to post messages on social networks to keep pressure on authorities not to abandon the search for Vittorio Missoni and five others who disappeared aboard a twin-engine plane near Venezuelan islands on Jan. 5.

Designers expressed their solidarity with the family on the first day of menswear previews Saturday.

“No one better than me can understand the pain and anguish that they are experiencing, the suffering of the sister Angela,” Donatella Versace told Italian reporters before her menswear preview. Versace’s brother, Gianni, the founder of the company, was killed by a gunman in Miami in July 1997.

Despite the uncertainty, the Missoni fashion house confirmed its menswear preview show for Sunday. In a message posted on Facebook, designer Angela Missoni, Vittorio’s sister, expressed gratitude for messages of support. Their brother, Luca, a trained pilot, was in Venezuela helping with the search.

“They did very well to confirm the appointment with the new collection. Vittorio would have done the same,” said Mario Boselli, head of the fashion chamber.