MILAN The Italian fashion house Missoni, whose co-owner and marketing head Vittorio Missoni went missing over a week ago off Venezuela, went ahead with a subdued autumn/winter show on Sunday.
"In this difficult moment for my family and our company, the firm must carry on its business," Missoni's designer sister Angela said in an emailed statement.
Present backstage, she declined to meet media or make the customary end-of-show appearance on stage.
The plane carrying Missoni, 58, his partner Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple and two Venezuelan crew members disappeared after taking off from the resort of Los Roques, an archipelago off the coast of Venezuela, on January 4.
The family have been tweeting furiously over the past nine days, begging local and Italian authorities to continue searches and expressing confidence that those on the plane are still alive.
"I can only say that searches will continue in all possible directions until we find them," Angela said.
The family-owned company's 2013 autumn/winter collection took inspiration from the colors of the north American landscape, reworking its often exuberant hallmark colored knits in a subdued palette of greys, anthracite, silvers and greens.
It's typical zig-zag patterns were turned into stripes inspired by North American motifs and wrapped around cardigans, fur stitch blazers and denim pieces.
Vittorio is co-owner of the firm with his siblings Luca and Angela, who respectively handle the technical and design sides of the firm, which has pioneered innovative knitting techniques since it was founded 60 years ago in Sumirago, a small town in northern Italy.
They took over managing the company from their parents Ottavio and Rosita in 1996, aiming to relaunch the brand for a larger, younger market as rivals Gucci and Burberry had done.
Under Vittorio's guidance as marketing head, Missoni has opened hotels in Edinburgh and Kuwait and launched the Missoni Home collection.
(Reporting By Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Kevin Liffey)