While many celebrity clothing lines come and go like dead leaves on the sidewalk, at least one is making so much bank it’s practically depressing: Jessica Simpson. Retail sales of her fashion items, which now encompass shoes, accessories, outerwear, bathing suits, fragrance, and watches, totaled $750 million this year. This makes her that rare diva that is, in at least one category, outperforming even Madonna. “People look at her as a style icon,” explains Vince Camuto, the main licensee for Simpson-branded merchandise.
Some more facts about Simpson’s clothing empire:
• Jessica Simpson Sportswear and Jeanswear are expected to do from $150 million to $200 million in retail sales within the next two years.
• The Jeanswear collection can be found in 650 department store doors, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Belk, and Bon-Ton.
• Six hundred people once lined up to see Simpson make a personal appearance at Belk.
• Simpson’s net worth is estimated at $100 million.
• Jack Gross from the Jones Group, which licenses her Jeanswear, says, “Fifteen-, 16-year-olds and 40-year-olds like her. Sometimes she has missteps, and they identify with her.”
• The latest addition to her empire — sportswear — is inspired by Isabel Marant, Theory, and Sportmax, but with a “younger” attitude. Presumably one also suited to 40-year-olds.
It’s kind of nice that this is working out for her after so many things — and so many outfits — haven’t.