She owes it all to him. Jessica Simpson took to her Instagram on Thursday, Jan. 22, to mourn the death of her mentor and business partner, shoe legend Vince Camuto, who passed away at age 78 earlier that day.
Simpson, 34, shared a photo with the late co-founder of Nine West along with a quote from Camuto himself. "'It is never about one person,'" the multi-hyphenate reflected. "'It’s the teams you put in place. Without the right people, you're nowhere' -Vince Camuto."
Indeed, Camuto was a pivotal part of Simpson's team when the two teamed up in 2005 to launch her multimillion dollar namesake brand. She recognized Camuto's profound influence on her business empire, as well as her personal life, as part of her Instagram update.
"Thank you, Vince, for the humble power that has taken me everywhere," the mother of two wrote. "You are my mentor, my family, the creator of all my dreams. I will forever walk in your shoes…you made them. #brokenheart."
In a February 2014 interview with Footwear News, Simpson gushed about working alongside the footwear industry heavyweight. "We started with shoes, and Vince always believed we could take it much bigger," the singer wrote. "2015 is our 10-year anniversary. It’s exciting."
She added: "Vince is an inspiration in so many ways. He’s a savvy businessman, he’s a family man and we share a passion about design and great products."
Camuto returned the love and praised his mentee. "I knew Jessica was special from the first time I met her," he told Footwear News. "We share a passion for business, family and great design."
In Simpson's eyes, Camuto was already a part of her family. "My business is my family," she told the paper. "My sister Ashlee works with us on the line, and I’ve built the collection alongside my mother, Tina. She’s been an inspiration my entire life."
Camuto was honored by Us Weekly in 2013 as a Most Stylish New Yorker. At the party, he gave Us his best fashion tip: To stick with one color when dressing for vacation. "That way you're not all over the place," he mused. "[Your wardrobe] just becomes more focused. You can go anywhere with a pair of great dark jeans and a blue blazer and some great shirts."
Camuto passed away in his Greenwich, Conn., home from natural causes. He is survived by his wife, Louise Camuto, and his five kids, all of whom were beside him when he died.