By Rachel Satell
Sources: Into the Gloss, Women’s Wear Daily, footwearnews.com
Vince Camuto, the iconic shoe and bag designer, lost his battle with cancer on January 21st, 2015 being 78 years old. In his last hours, Camuto was surrounded by his wife and five children.
Vince Camuto has co-founded the hugely successful shoe line Nine West in 1978. He would later go on to build a fashion empire under his own name in 2005, with his wife Louise by his side as creative director. The Camuto Group, founded in 2001, and the Vince Camuto line have been on the cutting edge of fashion and design since their inception. Camuto had a reputation for listening to his customers, taking into account what they wanted from a pair of shoes, and then giving it to them. Over the years of his life he gained a dedicated customer base of shoe and accessory lovers.
Camuto was remembered by friends and family on February 5th at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, New York City. Many among the sea of mourners loved Camuto as both a friend and a mentor. The first one of the mourners to speak was Tory Burch, who had been guided through the fashion ranks by Camuto. Alex DelCielo, president and COO of Camuto Group spoke to Camuto’s widespread mentorship in the fashion industry saying, “His legacy is people”. Camuto believed that it was never about one person, but about the teams you put in place. He believed that without having the right people on your team, you will go nowhere. His passion for people shone through both Vince’s career and his personal life. His son, Robert Camuto, spoke to the legacy of kindness Camuto has left behind. “You could see his soul shine through his eyes and his smile. … He never forgot that he was a fatherless kid from [the Lower East Side]. He always gave everyone a chance”, he said.
Vince Camuto has left his mark in the fashion industry for decades to come. He will be sorely missed and our hearts are with Camuto’s family and friends.