Italian menswear shows open in gloom over Missoni and economy

Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:36pm EST
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - Concerns over the fate of fashion executive Vittorio Missoni and prospects for the economy weighed on the opening of Milan's menswear shows, where designers used all shades of grey for their austere 2013 autumn/winter collections.

The founder of menswear maker Corneliani kicked off the first show of the Milan fashion season on Saturday with a message for Missoni, whose plane disappeared off Venezuela a week ago.

"We want to show our solidarity to the Missoni family on the first day of the fashion week," company founder Carlo Alberto Corneliani said on a loudspeaker before the event started.

A small twin-engine aircraft carrying Missoni, 58, his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple and two Venezuelan crew went missing on January 4 after taking off from the Caribbean island resort of Los Roques.

The Missoni group, known for its exuberantly colored knits featuring bold stripes and zigzags, has decided to go ahead with its show on Sunday, but the family is unlikely to attend.

Media reported on Saturday that the location where the plane disappeared may have been found, but it was not possible to get an immediate comment from Italy's foreign ministry.

Italy's luxury goods industry is set to continue to outperform other sectors this year, according to analysts, helped by the appetite of wealthy Asian shoppers.

But prospects for the economy remain as gloomy as the cloudy skies under which hundreds of fashion critics and buyers rushed to watch the menswear proposals for next winter.   Continued...

Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi (C) poses for a photo with Italian designers Stefano Gabbana (L) and Domenico Dolce in downtown Milan January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Dolce&Gabbana Press Office/Handout