When you think of Jessica Simpson, what comes to mind? Daisy Duke, Nick Lachey or the controversial –yet hysterical– tuna versus chicken comment, perhaps? Needless to say she hasn’t always been treated with the utmost respect; her reputation, lifestyle and image has consistently been mocked.
Naturally these preconceived notions and varying media criticisms leave many to believe that she’s nothing more than a pretty face—with her sweet southern charm and girl-next-door charisma; we tend to find it hard to believe that Jessica Simpson in fact is a branding powerhouse.
As she sits at the helm of a nearly $1 billion empire, the truth behind Jessica’s fashion success is taking critics by surprise.
With retail sales from lifestyle brand totaling $750 million this year, her success is undeniable.
Simpson’s affordable and trendy line of shoes, accessories, denim, swimwear, watches and fragrances have turned the southern belle into a fashion maven.
In a recent piece from Women’s Wear Daily, Vince Camuto, founder and CEO of Camuto Group, (who happens to be the main licensee for Simpson-branded merchandise), believes the key to her success is her approachability.
“She is the girl next door and has great product that surrounds her,” he told WWD. “People like her. People look at her as a style icon”.
“Show Me Your Blues” Collection – NYC
What’s the cherry on top of this sweet southern cake, you ask? It has been reported that Simpson’s namesake collection is expected to be the first celebrity label to top $1 billion in annual sales. That’s quite an honor and accomplishment for someone who has been labeled a stereotypical “dumb blonde”.
The Texas-born celeb began experimenting with fashion in 2007. Nearly four years later, her empire has penetrated more than 20 fashion categories—which in addition to the fashion staples mentioned previously—includes lingerie, swimwear and watches.
Simpson proves to be a seriously hands-on executive, taking her business very seriously. Her ambitions are anything but staggered; she explained her vision stating that, “I’m hoping the business will outlive me. I plan on making this a business model based on Ralph Lauren or a Michael Kors type of line“.
The entrepreneur is clearly doing something right.
Her ability to connect and engage with the modern consumer has resulted in constant expansion; and there’s no end in sight as Simpson already has plans to broaden her ever-expanding brand even further.
Belk Southpark Mall, SC
The southern star will be designing and launching a contemporary sportswear line which includes stylish separates ranging from jackets, knit tops and bottoms as well as dresses. The best part—all items are priced from as little as $39 to $129.
“This new sportswear line reflects my evolving style, which combines comfort, femininity and flirty fun,” Jessica said in a statement.
Simpson with Contest Winner at Belk
The latest edition to the Simpson super-brand will be available at more than 650 specialty and department stores throughout the U.S. and Canada starting in the fall of 2011.
Living life in the fast lane is something that the southern beauty will have to continue to do as she is now busy planning a wedding on top of her evolving business.
With her fashion enterprise firmly on track, Simpson is arranging the details for her wedding to fiancé and NFL football star Eric Johnson. She and Johnson announced their engagement last month but Simpson told the media that promotional duties and responsibilities have kept the couple from setting an official date.
It’s safe to say that Simpson is clearly back on top and is doing better than ever; with her successful fashion venture and new found love, its appears like nothing can stop her now.