Etienne Russo

PARIS — Fashion show producer Etienne Russo has returned to Europe over two months after being held in Japan for suspicion of cannabis smuggling.

The founder of Villa Eugénie, who was absent from the men’s shows last January, was seen at the Fendi show in Milan during fashion week. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that he returned to Europe on Feb. 20.

Russo is now back in Paris, where he was spotted on the set of the Dries Van Noten show on Wednesday. He declined to comment or provide any information about what happened in Japan.

It is understood Russo entered Japan on Nov. 30 for the Dior men’s pre-fall 2019 fashion show that was held in Tokyo.

He is said to have been seen at the show, but was put in custody in early December after customs officials at Narita Airport outside of Tokyo found a liquid that they believed was extracted from cannabis packed in Russo’s luggage, according to reports by Japanese media.

In Japan, use and possession of cannabis is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine, whereas cultivation, sale and transport are punishable by up to seven to 10 years in prison and a fine.

Russo and his event production firm Villa Eugénie are popular among luxury brands, having worked on shows not only for Dior but also for brands including Hermès and Thom Browne.

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