Jessica Simpson on Vince Camuto: “My Mentor, My Family”

Vince Camuto Dead
Vince Camuto and Jessica Simpson at the Footwear News Achievement Award in 2013.
Steve Eichner

Jessica Simpson, Vince Camuto’s longtime business partner, took to Instagram last night to mourn the executive and celebrate his major impact on her life.

“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,” Simpson wrote in a post.

Simpson, who first teamed up with Camuto in 2005, has built one of the world’s most successful celebrity brands, thanks in large part to Camuto’s role in building the business. Last year, sales were more than $1 billion and Simpson now sells product in dozens of categories.

The pair first teamed up in 2005. “We started with shoes, and Vince always believed we could take it much bigger,” Simpson told FN last year.

And Camuto felt an instant connection with the celebrity, too. “I knew Jessica was special from the first time I met her. We share a passion for business, family and great design,” he said.

Camuto always attributed the brand’s success to Simpson’s hands-on approach.

“She has a keen insight into what her customers want: exceptional value,” he said. “She is committed to developing a vision and [is involved in everything] from selecting materials to determining the prints and styles that work best for a woman’s body.”

In both 2011 and 2013, Simpson was on hand at the Footwear News Achievement Awards to present awards to Camuto. During her first pregnancy in 2011, Simpson gave the brand of the year honor to the business mogul for his namesake label. Two years later, she feted Camuto as the winner of the prestigious Manolo Blahnik Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I met Vince eight years ago, and he changed my life,” she said on the FNAA stage in 2013.

For more on Camuto’s incredible impact on the footwear industry, click here.