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From celebrity status to fashion designer - Part VII: Jessica Simpson

By Sara Ehlers


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In the Los Angeles social scene, many celebrities have used their stardom status to reach new heights in the fashion industry. In fashion today, fashion houses, lines, and designers have come from some of Hollywood’s “Most Famous.” Although in this realm of entertainment, some actors and actresses catch their fiery pop-culture stature, it does not always lead to automatic success. However, there are a couple celebrities that have broken this mold into the coveted fashion world (such as Nicole Richie Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Victoria Beckham More than just launching new lines and designing new concepts, these stars have surpassed through their five-minute fame into well-respected, elitist fashion positions. Whether springing an entirely new vision of fashion or anticipating meticulous details to create a sacrosanct collection, these famed stars have worked their way to become our fashion idols, moguls, and icons. The question remains: How did they get there?

A famed celebrity who broke through her entertainment background and delved into fashion designing is Jessica Simpson.

Former actor and singer Jessica Simpson becomes a fashion mogul

Jessica Simpson is known for many things. In the start of her career, Simpson gained recognition as a singer and songwriting providing hits in the late ‘90s. Her debut single, “I Wanna Love You Forever” peaked within the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100. Her debut album entitled Sweet Kisses went on to be certified 2x Platinum in the United States. In total, her album sold over four million copies worldwide. In 2001, Simpson released her single “Irresistable” which went on to be a hit. In the music world, Simpson continued to thrive releasing more songs and new albums. Her third studio album In This Skin was her best-selling album worldwide receiving a 3x Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Overall, Simpson sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Her transition from music began with her reality television debut. In 2003, she starred in the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica alongside with Nick Lachey, her husband at the time. The show aired for two years and unfortunately ended when the two went through a divorce. From there, Simpson went on to act in multiple movies. She starred in The Dukes of Hazzard, Employee of the Month, and Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous. The Dukes of Hazzard, Simpson’s first motion picture, grossed approximately 30.7 million dollars and ranked number one at the box office in its opening weekend. Although gaining a higher status through the entertainment industry, Simpson eventually left behind her acting days to transition into the fashion industry.

The Jessica Simpson Collection earns approximately 1 billion dollars annually

Her first entry into the fashion industry was in 2006 when she launched her own eponymous collection. The Jessica Simpson Collection came together founded by herself and her mother, Tina Simpson. The fashion line initially launched as a shoe collection. Collaborating with Nine West, an upscale fashion retailer and wholesaler, Simpson debuted her shoe line catering to women including pumps, heels, wedges, and more. The line accumulated success which resulted in brand expansion, ultimately leading The Jessica Simpson Collection to delve into offering other merchandise. The collection soon began to offer apparel, accessories, handbags, and more. Currently, the collection has a broad selection of products than span out over 30 categories. The development and success of the brand came from Simpson’s ability to resonate with her customers. “I have been every size on the planet and I understand women,” Simpson told Forbes in an in-depth feature about her line. The brand offers a mix of trendy, contemporary pieces as well as modern, casual outfits that everyday consumers would wear. “I do feel like we’re very fashion-forward, but we also listen to the consumer,” Simpson told Forbes. Her apparel stays in-between an affordable price point ranging from approximately 23.98 dollars to 278.95 dollars. Although styles are lavish in design, the majority of her merchandise stays reasonably priced.

At the end of 2010, The Jessica Simpson Collection received critical fashion acclaim and was being distributed at over 650 department stores across the United States. Popular specialty retailers such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom all sell her brand. That year, the collection earned 750 million dollars, giving Simpson the title of fashion mogul as well as top selling celebrity clothing empire. In 2015, Simpson broke headlines for reaching 1 billion dollars in annual sales for her clothing line. The reason for her success can also be equated to Simpson’s likeability. Jack Gross, chief executive officer of Jeanswear for the Jones group, license holder of Simpson’s jeans collection, told WWD in 2010 that her collection is appealing to multiple age groups. “[Simpson is] very communicative with her fans. Fifteen-, 16-year-olds and 40-year-olds like her,” Gross told the publication. The brand is currently still thriving as its current sales total at 1 billion dollars. Simpson, at age 35, has no plans of stopping or slowing down. “I’m committed as I was 10 years ago,” said Simpson, “here’s to the next billion.”

From celebrity status to fashion designer
Jessica Simpson
The jessica simpson collection