Remembering Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto passed away last Wednesday, January 21, 2015. He died before his time, succumbing to prostate cancer at the age of seventy-eight. During his lifetime Camuto was a legendary force in the footwear industry, founding the brands Nine West (1978), Gianni Bini (2002), Antonio Melani (2002), Michelle D. (2002), Nurture (2002), Jessica Simpson Collection (2003), Vince Camuto (2005), and Two by Vince Camuto, VC Signature, and Louise et Cie thereafter. He is known for injecting style and variety into middle market women’s shoes, and for making high platform heels walkable with his innovative use of foam rubber. Today the Vince Camuto brand encompasses women’s shoes, handbags, accessories, ready-to-wear, and even jewelry. He was in the midst of planning a menswear line before his untimely death.

Yet before his illustrious career in design, he learned about women’s footwear and fashion merchandising as a  salesperson at I. Miller in Manhattan. He was quickly ranked #1 in sales, not only for his acumen but also for his personality. He made many, many friends in the fashion industry, all of whom are sad to see him go. This is what they had to say:

Vince Camuto young

“He was a unique man. I’ve never worked with anyone like him, and I’ve worked with a lot of people.” — Calvin Klein

“I can’t say we had a collection until Vince came on board.” — Tory Burch

“Vince Camuto was my mentor, my friend, and my constant inspiration. I will be forever grateful to him for changing my life for the better.” — Jessica Simpson

“What was so inspiring about Vince was that he was constantly evolving and reinventing himself.” — Reed Krakoff, designer

“He was a shoe god. There is no other way to say it.” — Steve Madden, shoe designer

“He was dedicated to his business, but most of all, to friendship. ” — Max Azria, designer, chairman, and CEO at BCBG Max Azria Group

Vince Camuto and Louise

“His passion for the footwear business and his vision for style meeting function were unmatched.” — Alex Dillard, President at Dillard’s 

“When it came to product, he was absolutely the best merchant in the business, period.” — Pete Nordstrom, Co-President at Nordstrom

“Vince has been a true partner and a fashion leader.” — Tony Spring, Chairman and CEO at Bloomingdale’s 

“Vince was one of the most magical people I have ever had the pleasure to work with.” — Muriel Gonzalez, EVP of Shoes at Macy’s 

“Vince had a warmth with all those he touched and the greatest of humility in all he did.” — Neil Cole, Former Chairman, CEO and President at Iconix Brand Group 

Vince Camuto Kase Vince Camuto Kiotio Vince Camuto Graydin

 Vince Camuto Fairlee  Vince Camuto Cresida   Vince Camuto Melisha

Vince Camuto Celindan Vince Camuto HainesVince Camuto Carolyn

Vince Camuto Sukey  Vince Camuto Lamont   Vince Camuto Yvonne

 Vince Camuto Quote

Kase, Kiotio, Graydin, Fairlee, Cresida, Melisha, and Celindan from Vince Camuto; Carolyn, Haines, Sukey, Lamont, and Yvonne from VC Signature 

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