A dedication to family and a deep-rooted devotion to causes benefiting women and children led legendary footwear designer Vince Camuto to throw his support behind “FFANY Presents Shoes on Sale” from the very beginning.
“Supporting an organization that helps fund breast cancer research was very personal to Vince,” said his wife, Louise Camuto, chief creative officer and president of marketing at Camuto Group. “Cancer never discriminates and, like Vince, nearly all of us have loved ones who will be affected.”
Camuto became involved with the fundraiser while at Nine West, helping to support colleague and Shoes on Sale co-founder Jodi Fisher.
That commitment continued after he founded Camuto Group in 2001. In 2011, the company became a Special Pink Benefactor, contributing $500,000 in donations each year.
FFANY President Ron Fromm recalled that Camuto’s contributions to Shoes on Sale extended well beyond his generous monetary gifts. “He was one of those sponsors who was all in. He gave of his time, his treasure and his shoes,” Fromm said. “The breadth of his [contribution] was phenomenal, both in shoe donations and financial gifts. He also was very generous in providing perfumes and other accessories for the gift bags — and sometimes the bags themselves.”
Fromm recalled that Camuto also arranged for Tory Burch to take part in 2008 and was instrumental in recruiting Jessica Simpson as the 2009 Shoes on Sale spokesperson.
During Camuto’s career, Shoes on Sale provided the footwear legend with a chance to see his generosity at work and was also an opportunity for him to reconnect with old acquaintances.
“[Vince] enjoyed seeing friends from throughout his years in the industry. He was always talking to everyone, catching up, reminiscing and, of course, talking about the business,” Louise Camuto said. “We had so much fun as a company, and we still do.”
In his five decades in the shoe industry, Camuto built a multitude of relationships — and many of his friends paid homage to the shoe mogul in a tribute video that aired during the gala Monday night.
A bevy of fashion industry A-listers — including Terry and Tina Lundgren, Blake Nordstrom, Alex Dillard, Tory Burch, Liz Rodbell, Sal Salibello, Tommy Hilfiger and Camuto Group CEO Alex DelCielo — joined all five of Vince Camuto’s children in sharing their favorite memories of the man behind two of the shoe industry’s most successful companies.
Terry Lundgren presented the award to Louise Camuto – who accepted the honor on her late husband’s behalf.
And while Vince Camuto often shied away from receiving public recognition for his philanthropic work, Louise Camuto said he would have been honored to receive this award from the FFANY organization.
“Vince was so humble. He never talked about what he did,” she said. “This acknowledgement is a huge honor because he was a great human being, and he helped so many people. Everyone who met him or worked with him speaks of him as a mentor.”