Vittorio Missoni, head of Italy's famous fashion house Missoni and the oldest son of its founders, is missing after the plane carrying him from Venezuela disappeared.
The country's emergency services mounted a sea and air rescue mission today but there has been no sign of the aircraft.
The plane, which was carrying Missoni, 58, his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple and two Venezuelan crew members, vanished off the coast, after taking off from the Los Roques islands, Italian media reported.
"It disappeared yesterday. They have been looking for it with helicopters and ships, but have not found anything yet. They are still searching for it this morning," the Italian consul in Venezuela, Giovanni Davoli, said.
"The Missoni family has been informed by the Venezuelan consulate that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing, but we don't know any more," Missoni spokeswoman Maddalena Aspes said.