News & Runway


Now, I’m fully aware that the majority of the population doesn’t spend their time shopping the designer racks at Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys, but who are the droves and droves of people who spend their hard earned money to look like Jessica Simpson?

It appears that the singer/actress/reality star may soon sit atop a billion dollar brand now that she and the Camuto Group (who hold the master license for her brand) have signed a long-term licensing deal with Jones Apparel Group Inc. to develop, design, produce, and distribute a full jeanswear collection under the Jessica Simpson name that will include denim jeans, knit tops, jackets and skirts. The line will launch in about 1,000 department store doors in July. The jeans expansion joins Simpson’s existing line-up of products that include handbags, jewelry, fashion accessories, fragrance, swimwear, luggage, outerwear, dresses, and lingerie.

It’s unfathomable to me that Simpson-branded products already bring in an excess of $500 million retail, considering the songbird is not particularly well-known for her style. According to a rep at Camuto, she “has a very strong point of view and would be in here working long hours on this, sometimes up to 12 hours or so. I have to say, I didn’t really expect to see that” – hard to believe, but you never know.  

It saddens me that talented, hard-working designers with truly unique points of view – no matter their price levels – are getting overshadowed by celebrities with no formal training who just capitalize on their name. We can’t blame the celebs, I suppose, since what they’re doing makes sense strategically and monetarily.  But why do we as a population revere celebrities to such an extreme extent that we just blindly buy whatever they stamp their name on?