Legendary shoe and accessory designer Vince Camuto has died after a battle with cancer. He was 78 years old.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, the designer died at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut, surrounded by his wife and five children.
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A touching tribute to Camuto was posted on the Vince Camuto Instagram account on Thursday following his death.
Here are some things you should know about the talented designer.
1. He brought you Nine West
Camuto, along with his former business partner Jerome Fisher, founded the popular shoe and accessory brand the Nine West Group in 1978. The partners later sold the company to the Jones Group Inc., in 1999, for nearly $900 million.
2. He had big dreams
In 2001, Camuto expanded his creative vision and launched his fashion house the Camuto Group. Then in 2005, he began creating the lines Vince Camuto, VC Signature Vince Camuto and Louise et Cie, which generate about $1 billion in global sales.
3. He was good friends with Jessica Simpson
Camuto played a very important role in the creation of Jessica Simpson’s fashion empire. He served as not only her friend, but also her mentor and business partner.
The The Dukes of Hazzard actress took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late designer, thanking him “for the humble power that has taken me everywhere.”
View this post on Instagram
“It is never about one person. It’s the teams you put in place. Without the right people, you’re nowhere” -Vince Camuto Thank you, Vince, for the humble power that has taken me everywhere. You are my mentor, my family, the creator of all my dreams. I will forever walk in your shoes…you made them. #brokenheart
4. His wife was a beauty queen
Camuto’s wife, Louise Camuto, was Miss Sweden of 1989 and a runner-up in the Miss Universe competition. She also serves as the creative director of the Camuto Group.
5. Family was incredibly important to him
Speaking during an interview with Women’s Wear Daily in 2013, Camuto explained just how important family was to him.
“My children are my proudest accomplishment. Even at the office, I feel like everyone is family. Family is what is most important to me,” he said.
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6. He lost his own father when he was a toddler
Camuto was a loving family man, but the New York City, New York, native sadly lost his own father when he was just 2 years old.
7. He began his career at age 18
Camuto began his career in the fashion industry at age 18, but the role was far less glamorous than the CEO of the Camuto Group. According to Women’s Wear Daily, he started out handling customer complaints at I. Miller.
8. He supported charities
Camuto was also a passionate supporter of charities, including the Leukemia Society of America, Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude’s Hospital.
Our thoughts are with Camuto’s family and friends during this sad time.