LANCASTER, Calif. — You can take Jessica Simpson out of the country but you can't take the country out of her.
For the $2 million — and first — ad campaign to promote her namesake contemporary clothing line, the pop star rolled in the sand here on the western edge of the Mojave Desert in a white cotton wraparound shirt and black pencil skirt. She raised her right knee, pointed her left foot clad in a black stiletto pump and tossed back her head so that her platinum locks skimmed the baked earth.
Against a background of amorphous hills, Simpson steeped herself in fantasy during the daylong shoot last Saturday. She was a sexy secretary rolling in the sand or applying lipstick at the wheel of an azure 1965 Ford Mustang convertible. Then she was a farm girl in a white eyelet dress and brown cowboy boots.
"The ad campaign definitely represents my roots and how I was raised a little bit of a country girl," the Texas-born Simpson said later in an interview. "I grew up with my feet in the dirt and on tire swings and old cars, and I just like the rawness of that."
As two personal assistants shook their booties to hip-hop blaring from the stereo of a chauffeured black Chevy Suburban, Simpson tried to stay still in front of the camera. She pleaded for someone to change the radio station. The right mood was struck with some Twenties-era jazz and big band tunes.
Simpson modeled six outfits for the campaign that is set to break in March. Vince Camuto, who paid $15 million in August to control the master license for the Jessica Simpson fashion brand, estimated the cost at $2 million. The campaign was snapped by Wayne Maser, who had photographed marketing blitzes for fashion labels such as Celine, DKNY and Versace.
"She works hard to make good pictures," said Maser, whose all-black outfit was covered in dust after he demonstrated on the ground the poses that he wanted Simpson to imitate.
Tina Simpson, the star's mother who helps run the clothing business and is protective of her first-born's image, accompanied her to the shoot. But Jessica Simpson has surrounded herself with a team of industry experts led by Camuto. "It is my name out there and it's very important to have that respect in the fashion industry," Simpson said.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)