Women’s footwear designer Vince Camuto died at his home in Greenwich, Conn. Wednesday at the age of 78, WWD reported. The cause of death was reportedly cancer.
Camuto co-founded footwear brand Nine West in 1978 with his then business partner Jerome Fisher. The designer launched the Camuto Group, which provides design, sourcing, production and marketing services for more than 5,400 global department store and independent retailers in 2001 and his namesake line in 2005.
The designer’s shoes were known for being accessible in terms of price and comfortable, yet still at the forefront of fashion, an idea Camuto dedicated himself to, regularly polling women to uncover the gripes they had about fashion footwear, and then working to resolve them through his collections.
The Group’s website describes the designer like this, “Vince Camuto has established a widely respected reputation within the fashion industry over the past thirty years. He is known primarily for his passion; passion for product, passion for people, passion for life. Beyond this, and perhaps because of this, Camuto is lauded for his work ethic, strong and time-honored relationships, and innovative and creative approach to design, all of which have resulted in iconic industry successes.”
In 2005, the designer purchased the master license for Jessica Simpson and he opened the first Jessica Simpson Collection shop-in-shop in Macy’s Herald Square two years later. In 2006, he partnered with Tory Burch to launch her footwear line and collaborated with the designer to create the brand’s iconic “Reva” ballet flat.
“Camuto works personally with each and every department inspiring morale and ensuring that his singular vision is upheld,” his bio continued.
The designer is survived by his wife, Louise Camuto for whom footwear line Lousie et Cie is named, and five children.