WWD: What were your thoughts when you started your line?
Jessica Simpson: When we first started, I decided to do shoes. I am a woman who feels better with some height. I have a passion for shoes, and everything [I wear] complements my shoes.
This story first appeared in the August 19, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: Since the brand is a reflection of Jessica Simpson, tell us about her.
J.S.: I’m always a Southern girl at heart. My friends and family are my everything. They influence all that I do. I feel like I’m a relatable person. I’m completely open and honest with everyone. Whether that’s too much openness or honesty, it makes me nonjudgmental. I’m one of those girls you would hopefully want to hang out with. When you have a lot of judgment in the world of design, it keeps you from being as creative as you can be….I’m a risk-taker.
WWD: What have you learned from the past 10 years running this business?
J.S.: I feel it’s very important to be inclusive. I have a whole team that I love and trust. People buy my clothes because I’m good at listening to what they want and need. I want to make clothes that flatter all silhouettes. The Jessica Simpson Collection is not geared toward one person. I can look at somebody and I know how they want to dress — and not necessarily to look like me.
WWD: What have you learned that will most impact your business for the next 10 years?
J.S.: Every day we’re learning — if we’re open to learning. I don’t have all the answers. There’s always another opportunity. I just live that way. I very much live one day at a time, knowing there’s always something I can conquer or get through….Everyone connected with the brand is passionate about how we can connect with the consumer, who may not [necessarily] be a fan of me, but a fan of clothing. They are sticking with me because they can always get what they want.
WWD: What’s the most important advice you have for women who want to have their own business?
J.S.: It is important to create a clear brand identity. You really need to know yourself as a person throughout [your] life as [you] evolve. It’s important that you do your own homework, that you know who you are and what you want your brand to be. I also think that when you create your brand, you need to surround yourself with good people. It’s important to not take yourself too seriously. You can take your brand seriously, but not yourself. People around you are the key to your success. You also need to trust your instincts. A lot of people are afraid to listen [to their instinct] because a dream of [theirs] could be too big and it seems too big to attain. I don’t believe any dream is too big. There are always more dreams to have and I feel that if you look at life that way, nothing will ever seem like a failure. At least you tried. I make all the decisions. I am passionate about my brand. I really believe in it.