Vince Camuto Net Worth
What was Vince Camuto's net worth?
Vince Camuto was an American footwear designer and businessman who had a net worth of $700 million at the time of his death. The son of a modest New York City seamstress, Vince earned his first fortune as the co-founded the women's fashion brand Nine West. Nine West was acquired by Jones Apparel Group in 1999 for $900 million.
Vince then earned a second fortune as the founder of the Camuto Group which was a shoe licensee. That meant it manufactured products for licensed names and brands. For example, the Camuto Group was tapped by Jessica Simpson in the mid-2000s to manufacture her custom line of shoes.
John Vincent Camuto was born in New York, New York on June 4, 1936. His Sicilian-born father died when Vince was just two years old. His mother Louise worked as a seamstress.
Vince attended Seward Park High School in New York City. College was not an option so at 18 he entered the workforce, taking a job as a shoe-repair boy at a department store. He eventually graduated into a retail sales position.
In the 1960s Vince took a job at the Sudbury Shoe Company. It was here that he learned the business of manufacturing shoes at scale. During his time with Sudbury, Vince was put in charge of a failing factory the company operated in Maine. He managed to turn that factory around within a few years.
In 1968 Vince was struck by fate while traveling on an airplane. On this flight he sat next to Jerome "Jack" Fisher. The two hit it off and on that plane ride decided they would go into business together.
Jack and Vince took a contract with the Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corporation to develop and manage a shoe factory in Brazil.
In 1977 Jack and Vince left Sumitomo to launch their own brand which the initially named "Fisher Camuto" but ultimately re-named "Nine West."
One of Nine West's biggest revelations in its early days was to import shoes and other footwear of the same size in cases. Other importers at the time would import all different sizes at once which could turn into an inventory and warehousing nightmare. By importing all of the same sizes in single shipments, the company was able to drastically optimize its storage and inventory planning costs which allowed them to be perfectly matched for supply and demand.
The company soon opened a series of stores around the US.
Nine West went public in 1993.
In 1999 Nine West was acquired by Jones Apparel Group for $900 million. That's the same as around $1.5 billion in today's dollars after adjusting for inflation.
Two years after selling Nine West, Vince and his wife Louise, not to be confused with his mother who was also named Louise Camuto, launched the Camuto Group. The purpose of the Camuto Group was to design, market, source and manufacture shoes for retailers and other licensors.
Soon the Camuto Group was making shoes for companies including Dillard's, Antonio Melani, Nurture and more. Where Camuto really scored pay dirt though was with licensing deals. The Camuto Group was the exclusive lincensee to make shoes for brands like Max Azria, BCBG, Tory Burch, Jessica Simpson and Lucky Brand Jeans.
One of the Camuto Group's greatest successes was creating a $200 shoe for Tory Burch which was called the Reva flat. Similar high-end shoes at the time sold for $700-$1,000.
Jessica Simpson Brand
In 2005 the Camuto Group signed an exclusive master licensing deal with Jessica Simpson's recently-launched clothing brand. With Simpson, Camuto bought the rights to manufacture all kinds of apparel, not just shoes. In addition to the master license, Camuto bought 25% of Simpson's overall brand.
The first shoe Camuto made for Simpson was a red high-heeled cowboy boot called the "Daisy" which was released to coincide with Jessica's appearance in the 2005 "Dukes of Hazzard" film reboot. They eventually manufactured everything from jeans to perfume under Simpson's name.
By 2010 the Jessica Simpson brand surpassed $750 million in gross retail sales. At the brand's peak in 2014 it topped $1 billion in gross sales.
Personal Life and Passing
Vince Camuto passed away on January 21, 2015 at 78 years old from prostate cancer. A quote from Jessica Simpson was included in his funeral program:
"I will forever walk in your shoes… you made them."
He was married to his wife Louise, a former Miss Sweden, from 1992 until his death.
Vince's primary home at the time of his death was a 23-acre estate in Greenwich, Connecticut he named "Chateau Ridge." The property features a 16,000 square-foot European-castle-like mansion. The home's annual property tax bill comes to at least $130,000. In 2020 the home was listed for auction with an opening bid of $25 million:
In 2005 Vince and his wife paid $35 million for an estate in the Hamptons. They bought the property from the sisters of the Order of St. Dominic, which had owned it since 1931. In 2018, Vince's widow sold the estate for just under $50 million:
|Net Worth:||$700 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Jun 4, 1936 - Jan 21, 2015 (78 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||New York, New York, U.S.|