Vince Camuto passes away at the age of 78

Vince Camuto , founder of Nine West and his own name sake died in his Greenwich Connecticut home last Wednesday . He was 78 . The cause was prostate cancer. He was a business partner of both Tory Burch, the billionaire designer, and Jessica Simpson, the pop star who found a lucrative second career in the apparel business.

He also collaborated with Banana Republic and BCBG, among many other companies.John Vincent Camuto was born on June 4, 1936, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His mother, the former Louise Zenga, was a seamstress; his father, Luigi Camuto, a Sicilian immigrant, was an artisan who died two years later. After high school  he began working at I. Miller, a division of Delman, first as a shoe repair clerk and then on the sales floor.


In the 1960s he was mentored by Ted Poland, the founder of the Sudbury Shoe Company, Mr. Camuto worked in Miami, at John Irving, and in Farmington, Me., where he successfully turned around one of Mr. Poland’s factories.

Tommy Hilfiger, the designer and a longtime friend and neighbor in Greenwich, called Mr. Camuto a master of making attractive, affordable shoes.

“He did it in a different way from Louboutin or Manolo or Jimmy Choo,” Mr. Hilfiger said in an interview on Thursday. “It was his intent to please a lot of women — because, look, not many women can afford a $700 pump for evening, but they could afford $150.”


Besides his son Robert, he is survived by his wife, the former Louise Drevenstam, creative director of the Vince Camuto line and designer for his company Louise et Cie; a daughter, Andrea Camuto; three other sons, John, Christopher and Phillip; a sister, Frances Loprinzi; and one grandson.



Kohls Department Stores Inc

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