Vince Camuto, designer and co-founder of Nine West, dies at 78
New York — Women’s footwear designer Vince Camuto, who co-founded Nine West Group and then went on to establish his own successful namesake clothing and footwear business, has passed away at the age of 78. Camuto died Wednesday at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut, after a battle with cancer.
In 1978, Camuto and Jerome Fisher founded Nine West Group, which they grew into a retail powerhouse. In 1999, the company was acquired by Jones Apparel Group for nearly $900 million.
In 2001, Camuto launched Camuto Group, specializing in the design, development and distribution of women's fashion footwear. The privately held company gained footwear licenses for an array of designer brands including Tory Burch, and BCBG Max Azria. It also launched the Jessica Simpson brand, which has grown into a billion dollar business.
In 2005, Camuto Group launched three of its own labels: Vince Camuto, VC Signature and Louise et Cie. The lines are available at 30 company-owned specialty stores and are also sold by department stores and specialty retailers across the nation.
Over the past decade, Camuto expanded his company’s initial footwear-focus to include a wide range of product, ranging from apparel and watches to handbags, and sunglasses. The company also expanded into menswear.
News of Camuto’s death brought an outpouring of sympathy on social media. Camuto, a devoted family man with five children, was respected throughout the fashion and retail industry.
Designer Kenneth Cole tweeted: “Hearts out to a shoe industry icon and legend Vince Camuto. A man who consistently defied all odds. A role model for so many.”
Simpson took to Instagram to express her feelings for the designer, whom she often referred to as an “inspiration.”
"You are my mentor, my family, the creator of all my dreams. I will forever walk in your shoes … you made them,” Simpson posted.
Starbucks names former Microsoft and Juniper exec as president, COO
Seattle — Starbucks Corp. has appointed Kevin Johnson as president and chief COO, effective March 1. He replaces the company's current COO, 23-year Starbucks veteran, Troy Alstead, who, as previously announced, will take a sabbatical beginning March 1. Over the next month, Alstead will work to immerse Johnson into his levels of responsibility as they work together to ensure a smooth transition.
Johnson, a Starbucks board member since 2009, served as CEO of Juniper Networks from 2008 through 2013. Prior to that, he served as the president of the Platforms Division at Microsoft Corpo. and was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team and held a number of senior executive positions over the course of his 16 years at Microsoft.
“As a member of our board of directors, Kevin has worked closely with me for the past six years as a sounding board and collaborator on many of the strategies we are now pursuing," said Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz. "Kevin’s deep management experience and technology background will help further propel Starbucks efforts in partner (employee) and customer-facing innovations as we accelerate our global growth agenda."
As president and chief operating officer, Johnson will lead the company’s global operating businesses across the Americas, EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa), and China/Asia Pacific, as well as Starbucks supply chain, information technology, and mobile and digital platforms.
He will report to Schultz and serve as a member of Starbucks senior leadership team, as well as continue on the Starbucks board of directors. He ceased membership on all Starbucks board committees prior to this appointment.
“As a member of our board of directors, Kevin has worked closely with me for the past six years as a sounding board and collaborator on many of the strategies we are now pursuing. Kevin’s deep management experience and technology background will help further propel Starbucks efforts in partner (employee) and customer-facing innovations as we accelerate our global growth agenda,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo. “I am honored that Kevin is joining Starbucks in this capacity, particularly at this important time for our company, and I am looking forward to working with him and our strongest management team in the company’s 44-year history.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Howard, Troy and Starbucks senior leadership team for many years, and I am delighted to extend that relationship even deeper to work closely with our partners in operations, supply chain, technology and mobile and digital teams to drive our aggressive growth plans,” said Johnson. “Over the past six years I have gotten to know the company well and I look forward to extending my 33 years of operating experience to help propel Starbucks to the next decade of growth and innovation. I am honored and humbled to join Starbucks, a company that I love, during this important time.”
Forever 21 lights up headquarters with rooftop solar panels
Los Angeles – Forever 21 has powered up a 5.1-megawatt (DC), high-efficiency SunPower solar power system at its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. PermaCity Solar designed and installed the system.
PermaCity premiered its SolarStrap racking product on Forever 21's roof. It has no penetrations that could cause roof leaks; and, since, it does not rely on bulky ballast, it does not stress the buildings' structural integrity. SolarStrap, was literally baked into the new TPO roofing allowing 15,512 SunPower modules to become part of the solar roof.
PermaCity designed and installed the system for Forever 21 with the help of West Hills Construction, using SunPower solar panels which deliver up to 36% more electricity than conventional solar panels. It is the first project at one location to utilize both of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP's) local solar programs: the FiT100 Set Pricing Program, and the Solar Incentive Program.
"We are thrilled to be a leader in the adoption of clean energy and proud to say that we have built the largest solar rooftop in Los Angeles," said Don Chang, founder and CEO of Forever 21. "As an L.A.-based company, we wanted to contribute to the city's goal of increasing clean renewable energy and becoming a more green economy."
Now completed, the system will generate enough energy to power approximately 1,450 homes. According to estimates, it will avoid the annual production of almost 13 million pounds of carbon dioxide; equal to the emissions created by burning six million pounds of coal, or the equivalent of taking 1,200 passenger cars off the roads.