Jessica Simpson: Retail’s Newest Billionaire Scion?


Celebrity fashion lines come and go (Does anyone remember JWOWW’s ‘Filthy Couture’ or ‘Stuff by Hilary Duff’?), but one celeb brand is emerging as a juggernaut; Jessica Simpson’s clothing line.

Many industry insiders seem shocked to learn that Simpson’s eponymous collection of clothing, shoes, fragrances and accessories has brought in a whopping $740 million this year. Don’t be.

Retail giant The Jones Group, distributor of the Jessica Simpson brand, is confident that the singer and one-time reality television sensation will reach $1 billion by the end of 2010. Vince Camuto, executive officer of Simpson’s licensee, the Camuto Group, explained her appeal to WWD: “She is the girl next door and has great product that surrounds her. People like her. People look at her as a style icon.”

Though most known for confusing tuna with chicken, Simpson has demonstrated a lasting interest in fashion – dozens of fashion blogs are devoted to her wardrobe – and even picks specific items for her lines. “She’s in our fashion closet; she picked out a [platform] shoe that became the hottest shoe,” said Camuto. Her wholesome “girl next door” personality is also, no doubt, an additional draw for women around the world looking to emulate a celebrity’s style.

Simpson’s pieces are affordably-priced (dresses hover around the $100 mark) and geared toward a wide range of females from ages 15 to 40. Over 650 department stores including Macy’s and Dillard’s stock her collections. Particular standouts include the new jeanswear line and sold-out-everywhere Dany platform sandals.

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