John Camuto, a former footwear executive and the son of late shoe legend Vince Camuto, has died. He was 31.
The cause of death is believed to be a heart attack he suffered this week, the family said.
Camuto, one of two sons from Vince Camuto’s second marriage, grew up in Greenwich, Conn., and graduated from Harvey High School and Fairfield University. In his teens, John began to work for his father as a mail clerk at Camuto Group, based in the family’s hometown.
After taking a trip to Brazil with his father in 2007, John knew he wanted to follow in Vince’s footsteps. The father and son stayed at the home of a local factory owner for several days — and the experience made a lasting impression on the young Camuto.
Vince often marveled at John’s sense of style — and John got hooked on shoes as he shadowed his father during long days of design and business meetings. They strengthened their deep bond, and the company became known for its familial culture.
John helped Camuto Group expand internationally. He also developed his own collection, the VC John Camuto women’s shoe line.
In 2015, following the death of his father, John sat on the board of the Camuto Group advisers through the sale of the business to DSW Inc. (now Designer Brands) in 2018. After the deal — and following the end of a four-year non-compete agreement — John planned to pursue other entrepreneurial goals.
Family members and friends remembered John as fun-loving and generous. “It was impossible to not smile and laugh around John. He was the one everyone waited for to arrive at family holidays and was at the center of every photo we took,” the Camuto family said in a statement. “John was a light in all our lives that tragically went out too soon.”
He is survived by his mother, Kristen Scott, and brother Christopher — and other siblings Robert, Andrea and Philip Camuto, and Jamie Scott.
Donations can be sent in the name of John Camuto to The Hole in the Wall Gang Fund.