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Designer Vince Camuto Has Passed Away At Age 78

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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Vince Camuto, one of the founders of Nine West and the entrepreneur behind his own multibillion-dollar fashion empire, has died at age 78. WWD reports that the designer lost his battle with cancer and passed away yesterday at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Camuto began his career in fashion at age 18 at I. Miller, where he handled customer complaints. He started Nine West with Jerome Fisher in 1978 when he was in his mid-thirties, and sold the footwear company to Jones Group Inc. for nearly $900 million in 1999. The designer went on to found the Camuto Group in 2001, which includes the Vince Camuto, VC Signature Vince Camuto, and Louise et Cie labels and racks up $1 billion in global sales. Camuto also launched the Jessica Simpson brand, and the Camuto Group holds footwear licenses for brands like Tory Burch and BCBG. "He's the best product guy in the business. I don't think there's a better person," Camuto's friend Tommy Hilfiger told WWD in 2013.

Jessica Simpson mourned Camuto with a message posted to Instagram a few hours ago, writing: "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"
· Vince Camuto Dies at 78 [WWD]
· Vince Camuto Dead: Legendary Footwear Designer Dies At Age 78 [HuffPo]
· Inside a Celebrity Design Session: Julianne Hough for Sole Society [Racked]