Jerome “Jack” Fisher, the well-known co-founder of Nine West who helped build the brand into a major powerhouse, has died.
In 1977, Fisher joined forces with Vince Camuto to form the precursor to Nine West. Fisher and Camuto — along with Wayne Weaver — grew the company, took it public and snapped up larger rival U.S. Shoe Corp. in 1995. Nine West was sold to Jones Apparel Group in 1999 for $900 million.
Shortly after the Jones acquisition, Fisher retired from Nine West and, with the same determination he used to create a footwear giant, began working toward a new dream with his wife, Anne Fisher, in 2001 — crafting the “famous Lady Anne” yacht.
At the same time, Fisher continued to be a trusted adviser to his son Marc Fisher, the founder and CEO of Marc Fisher Footwear.
“I introduced Marc to the shoe business from a young age as our way of spending time together,” Fisher recalled last year in an interview with FN. “Soon my passion was Marc’s passion, and he was off to Brazil to study shoemaking. He was a natural — always listening, learning and becoming fluent in both the art and business of shoes.”
Industry players remembered the elder Fisher as a pioneer who made incredible contributions.
“Jackie Fisher truly was one the most influential persons in our shoe industry — and especially to me,” said BBC International founder and CEO Bob Campbell. “Forever , he called me kid and I always thought that was so special. I never had a father and always looked up to him for great inspiration.”
“Jack was an extraordinarily dynamic man,” said Dick Jacobson, former FFANY President. “I go way back to him in New England — he had a factory there. He was highly enterprising and a physically strong aggressive guy who seemed to have endless energy. He was always there to help.”
Jacobson added, “Getting together with Vince Camuto for Nine West was unique at the time. They created this terrific enterprise. When the company went public he said to me, ‘Dickie, I can’t believe this could happen to me.’ He was a humble guy down deep with people who knew him and very open. If you were a friend he would go to [great lengths] for you.”
After he retired from the business, Fisher became a well-known philanthropist who contributed to many causes, including FFANY Shoes on Sale, one of the industry biggest charities started by his daughter, the late Jodi Fisher. Jacobson remembers Jack and Jodi as a “tremendous help” during his years at FFANY.