21 May Jessica Simpson: The Retail Empress
Simpson, 37, first hit the public eye as a singer, signing a record deal with Columbia Records when she was 16. She has sold 14.5 million albums worldwide.
In 2006 she turned her attention to fashion and launched the Jessica Simpson Collection. It initially focused on shoes and clothing, then over the years expanded, eventually pulling in more than $1 billion in revenue. She seemingly never stops adding to her core business: she has released lines of maternity clothes, perfumes, bedroom decor, workout clothes, watches, handbags, sunglasses, luggage, and bathing suits.
Simpson, who grew up a preacher’s daughter in Texas, attributes the popularity and success of her brand to her persona as a relatable “girl next door.” The products reflect her curvaceous figure and bubbly personality. Among her best sellers are cowboy boots, similar to the pair she wore in The Dukes of Hazzard. Her collection is primarily sold at midmarket stores, such as Dillard’s and Macy’s, and is priced accordingly.
In 2012 Simpson became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, whose diet plan she used to lose weight after a pregnancy. She told CBS News that offering clothes in all sizes is a significant component of her business model.
“It’s very important for me to let every woman feel included,” she says. “If I make a shirt, I’m going to make sure that every size is available. Because I have been every size, trust me!”