Jessica Simpson wants you to know that she is not a billionaire (even though her self-titled clothing brand might be making that much), she says with a kind, pearly smile and a laugh. Money-talk aside, the 34-year-old Texas native has sashayed from being a pop singer to leading a fashion empire—no easy feat for anyone, especially a mom of two.
Five hundred fifty students (and I) wanted to know how she does it. Luckily, Simpson served as Business of Fashion Dean during Teen Vogue’s 10th Annual Fashion University at the newly opened 1 World Trade Center in New York City, on a rainy Saturday and gave us a look at how she’s made it all work.
From music to TV to fashion to movies, there isn’t much Jessica hasn’t done—and conquered—with a can-do approach and a sense of humor. Her ambition has helped her take on everything. Well, everything within reason. “I don’t think there’s anything that’s not possible—except, I would never be a NASCAR driver,” she says with a smile. With her resume, I wouldn’t put it past her.
Perhaps she has a future in being a guidance counselor too. In my one-on-one interview, Jessica told me what advice she’d share with her teenage self, as well as what boosts her confidence, and the beauty products her little girl is getting into.
Yahoo Beauty: What makes you feel beautiful and confident?
Jessica Simpson: Being in love definitely makes me feel beautiful and confident, but I had to get to a place in my life where I could feel a reason to accept love.
What is your secret to being self-assured?
For me, I really just believe it’s about knowing yourself. It’s about understanding yourself. It’s about valuing yourself. And it’s okay to be weird. It’s okay to be quirky. It’s okay to be not trendy. It’s okay to be on trend. Every day we go through ups and downs, and it’s just accepting that and not putting too much pressure on yourself.
You had the confidence to move from music to fashion. What advice do you have for women looking to transition into new careers?
Transition is a beautiful thing. Transition builds character.In my life, it makes me grow as a woman, and as a mother, and as a wife. I really do say the sky is the limit.
You’re advising the group of young women here today. What advice would you give to your teenage self?
My teenage self was a little bit bullied because nobody believed that I was actually being honest about the career I knew I was going to have and that I was approaching. I was made fun of, but I would say to myself, “You’ll never know these people again if they treat you the way they’re treating you,” and to move ahead and meet new people.
I hear your daughter is getting into your makeup bag.
Unfortunately Maxwell really loves all of my makeup. Child lock doesn’t even make sense. There’s no child lock that really works!
What’s her favorite beauty products to play with?
She’s getting into everything: my YSLs, my Chanels, and she’ll walk around with my Fendi bag. I’m like, “That is not yours, Maxwell! Maybe one day—but that’s mom’s bag!” She definitely takes all of my makeup and puts it in there.
Does she have a liking for any other beauty tools?
Now she thinks that she can floss. She’s only two!