Jessica Simpson, Americaâ€™s Retail Queen
J Thoendell stashed this in Business
The fashion world was quick to turn its nose up at Simpson's line. "Consumers aren't dumb. The customer who is really interested in fashion is sophisticated. She will take a Marc Jacobs over a Jessica Simpson, every time," Anna WintourÂ saidÂ in 2005. "Jessica Simpson is not a fashion designer," the Costume Institute's Harold Koda told Agins.
The rest of the country begged to differ. By 2008, the Jessica Simpson Collection moved into handbags, jewelry, and sunglasses, bringing inÂ $300 million in sales. By 2010, sales climbed to $750 million.
Celebrities starting their own brands is nothing new; it's long been a way for stars to extend their time in the public eye. From Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna to Jennifer Lopez, many have tried (and almost as many have failed) to build out profitable fashion and beauty lines. Jessica Simpson is at the very top of the celebrity brand heap.
Many credit Camuto as the mastermind behind the whole operation. It was his idea to lean on third-party vendors instead of producing the Jessica Simpson Collection in-house. This allowed the Jessica Simpson name to be licensed out to partners all around the globe and enter into various categories and markets in exchange for royalties. Today, the Jessica Simpson Collection has over 22 license partners.