February 16th, 2011
11:08 AM ET
While everyone else was trying to get the goods on Jessica Simpson's dress size, the 30-year-old star was steadily building a profitable fashion line of her own.
According to New York magazine, Simpson took in around $750 million in sales last year for her wide array of fashion merchandise, which includes shoes, dresses, denim and coats.
Add in a career separates line and a full ready-to-wear collection, which she plans to offer this year, and that total is expected to grow past the $1 billion mark. Last December, she was crowned "fashion's billion dollar baby" by industry publication Women's Wear Daily.
To give the number some context, New York says, that means Simpson’s nearly playing in the same sales league as Michael Kors – a reality that takes the 30-year-old by surprise.
“I never thought I’d be some fashion mogul!” she told the magazine, and maybe that's because she aimed to keep things simple.
“We try not to set trends, but you need your trending pieces in every delivery. But those go fast: What you really need is your basics for every type of person," Simpson explained. "When it comes to other celebrity brands, I think a lot of people do a great job, but it can’t be all about them. Everybody doesn’t want to just look like the celebrity, because they can’t. They just want one element of that style.”
Plus, her stuff is pretty affordable. Simpson's contemporary sportswear line that's due out this fall, for example, is expected to have a price range of $39 to $129.
"A girl could go to the shopping mall with her mother and she’d have a great new outfit and still have some money left for lunch at McDonald’s," her business manager David Levin told New York of the collection's concept. "She can look like Jessica Simpson, smell like Jessica Simpson, and she can afford it.”
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