With her southern charm and girl-next-door appeal, it’s hard to believe that Jessica Simpson is in fact a fashion powerhouse, sitting at the helm of a nearly $1 billion empire. But with retail sales of her successful lifestyle brand totaling $750 million this year, that is precisely what her line of shoes, accessories, denim, swimwear, watches and fragrances have turned the newly-engaged star into, reports WWD. And her secret, according to Vince Camuto, founder and CEO of Camuto Group, the main licensee for Simpson-branded merchandise, is her approachability. “People like her,” he tells WWD. “People look at her as a style icon.” So much so that Jess is broadening her brand even further, launching a contemporary sportswear line of stylish separates including jackets, woven and knit bottoms, as well as tops and dresses, all priced from $39 to $129. “This new sportswear line reflects my evolving style, which combines comfort, femininity and flirty fun,” Jessica said in a statement. The new collection will be available at more than 650 specialty and department stores throughout the U.S. and Canada starting in the fall of 2011.