The Jessica Simpson brand, which began with a humble line of Steve Madden-esque shoes and then expanded to jeans, accessories, and coats, will blast stores with a full range of sportswear this fall that targets customers of all ages. "Moms and their daughters would be buying it at the same time," says Vince Camuto, who owns all the licenses for the label. He projects that they'll make $1 billion in retail sales by the end of 2012, which the Simpson family will get royalties from. And that's not the end of it: Camuto has visions of opening freestanding stores that will sell all of the above, plus bridalwear, fine jewelry, and home goods like plates and wastebaskets.
If you suspect that Jessica is just a famous figurehead along for the ride, then you'd be mostly right, but that seems to be fine with everyone involved. Says Camuto: "We're not looking to exploit her. We’re not just looking for a quick buck ... The customer sees Jessica Simpson with great product, day in and day out, at a great price. That’s what makes it a success." Not to mention, Simpson seems to genuinely like the clothes. "She talks about it, she wears the product," Camuto says. Which is the best one can usually hope for when it comes to celebrity clothing labels.