‘I’d love some Tex-Mex about now,” says Jessica Simpson as she takes a pregnant pause — literally. When you’re a pop star turned reality TV icon turned fashion mogul with more than $1 billion in sales, you take any pauses you can get.
During this phone interview, Simpson is getting ready to deliver in two ways. She’s carrying a baby daughter and isn’t afraid to show it in a nude photo on the cover of Elle.
And then there is her series “Fashion Star,” debuting Tuesday (8:30 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5), which offers a far different Jessica than what’s in the press these days.
“I wasn’t pregnant when we shot the show,” she says. “It will be amazing to see myself with a waistline. I’ll be like a big blob sitting on the couch watching myself thin!”
“Fashion Star” features 14 designers vying for prizes, including having the winning design in stores the very next day. The winner gets a collection that will go to major retail chains.
Each week, buyers from Saks, Macy’s and H&M bid to have the exclusive right to sell the night’s clothes. Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos serve as mentors.
Simpson admits she’s a bit surprised with her success in the fashion business. Her JSC collection was the first celeb brand to break $1 billion in annual sales.
“Originally, I thought I’d just do shoes and handbags,” she says. “Success gives you more and more opportunities, so the sky’s the limit.
“I mean, even with acting, music or being a mom or anything else I wanted to do, I know I can do it. I’ve always had that confidence.”
“Life is definitely always about expanding. That’s how we grow,” she says.
She talked to us about mentoring promising designers, adjusting to buyers’ tastes and looking good on the cheap.
Q. Did you watch any of the beauty reality shows to get an idea of what you want to do on “Fashion Star”?
A. No, I really didn’t watch any other shows going into this because fashion has been my life for six or seven years now.
Q. How did you mentor these would-be fashionistas?
A. I really just wanted to be there and hang out and talk with the designers. I wanted to make sure that they did have a vision. You also have to make sure they listen to the buyers and what the buyers want. It’s really important to be able to give Macy’s the colors they’re wanting or the styles that sell the best for them. I wanted to be on the show to help the designers because they’re all great. You’re not going to see anyone on the show who is not a good designer. We don’t go through terrible designers to get to the great ones.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a designer?
A. At the beginning, I thought everything that I wanted to create was right and that’s what everybody should be wearing. But then I realized that I don’t wear flats, but they’re also my biggest selling shoes in the Jessica Simpson Collection. So, I had to give in and be like, “OK, 90 percent of America wears flats.” I had to realize it couldn’t be about what I would wear.
Q. Any advice on how women can put themselves on a clothing budget during tough economic times?
A. I should probably budget myself more. I think the most important thing is having one piece that you kind of splurge on and build around that. I always splurge on shoes because I feel like you can put together a really simple outfit for cheap with great shoes. The big trends now are all of the colored jeans and all of the printed jeans. There are definitely those you can find in the $40 to $60 range. Buy fun colors and mix and match things.
Q. Will you do a maternity line?
A. I definitely want to do maternity clothes. I’ve started to try and come up with some designs. I haven’t really loved anything. Personally, I’m not buying any maternity clothes. I’m wearing all clothes that are just in bigger sizes. I want to make a maternity line that’s comfortable, but really stylish. I believe we all deserve to feel good and look good.
Q. How has pregnancy influenced your fashion sense?
A. I walk around everywhere wanting to shrink things baby size nowadays.
Source: SunTimes.com (thanks to Terran!)