In one of the most candid and tender moments of the 2015 FN CEO Summit, Louise Camuto graced the stage on Wednesday to share her plans for leading the Camuto Group after the loss of her husband, company founder Vince Camuto.
“I want to continue the legacy Vince has built,” said Camuto, who spoke on a panel with company President Ed Ferrell. “There’s lots of love for him within the company and the entire industry.”
Louise Camuto was promoted earlier this year to chief creative officer, from creative director, in a series of moves to solidify the company’s top management. Longtime executive Alex DelCielo was elevated to CEO, Julio Martini was named COO and Ferrell became president.
“Vince was a team-builder,” said Ferrell. “We’re a big little company. Vince put the right people in place.” Ferrell continued: “Vince developed people and put his trust in us. We want to take the company to a place that even he didn’t imagine.”
Part of that growth, both panelists said, includes a focus on the Vince Camuto brand, as well as growing the men’s footwear business. The executive team also plans to broaden the Louise et Cie label, which, in addition to adding handbags next year, would allow Louise Camuto, the face of the brand, to make more in-store appearances.
The two executives said at the Summit that the changes to the Jessica Simpson deal had been in the works long before Vince Camuto’s death in January. Ferrell said the company, which retains the footwear license, has seen a rise in the Jessica Simpson shoe business over the last few months. But with the other licenses, “it was time to move in a different direction,” he said.