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Jessica Simpson was already a popular singer when she married Nick Lachey, but her star was catapulted further when they began filming Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. Simpson became a viewer favorite for her naivete. But she was smart enough to capitalize on fans’ reaction to her clothing and start her now billion-dollar clothing and accessories brand.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey pose on red carpet; Simpson says she started her clothing line amid divorce from Lachey and 'Newlyweds' ending
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Jessica Simpson says her clothing line was launched at the end of ‘Newlyweds’ due to fans’ reactions to her fashion choices

Simpson’s MTV reality show chronicled her and Lachey trying to navigate life together as newlyweds over three seasons. It was the “With You” singer who initiated the split, and she says that out of nowhere, she was inspired to embark on another career in fashion. 

Source: YouTube

“2005 was a major life change for me,” she shared while chatting with American Express’ Business Class: Office Hours in an Instagram live. “I mean it started with a big personal decision of divorce. That was a work thing because of a TV show and always being on tour, but it was also, for me, personal growth. I was coming into my own as a woman, and I feel like with Dukes of Hazzard, and the success of that and really channeling Daisy, I learned a lot about myself.”

She realized that fans of the show were complimentary of her fashion choices. From there, she had the idea to try and create a line. “People had sat with me on the couch and been watching me in my normal everyday life. It’s nice to be glamorous but it’s also good to see what’s behind the glamor,” she added. “And if you can make a t-shirt glamorous, that’s really just who I am — the DNA of fashion for me. And so we decided to do the Jessica Simpson collection. I was just like, ‘Wow — People are really liking just me for myself, and how cool would that be to have a brand that is like that.'” 

What she feels about the show in retrospect 

While Simpson says she felt pigeonholed by the show because she was viewed as ditsy by fans, after so many years, she doesn’t hold any ill feelings about her experience. During an appearance on The Real in 2021, Simpson said: “I don’t regret that at all. If anything, it was great TV. It was very real, and Nick and I actually had a lot of fun. We got to do a lot of things that we wouldn’t do. I don’t like to go camping. There were definitely moments where it was like, ‘Oh just put Jessica out here in the wilderness and you’ll get good TV.’ There’s a lesson in everything.”

The mother of three does, however insist she will never return to reality television. “Oof — no,” she said. “Reality set up so different now which is a funny thing to say. Ours was actually very real and very authentic because it was one of the first.”

She recently became the full owner of her clothing brand 

Starting the line turned out to be a genius business decision. In Oct. 2021, Simpson shared the good news that after a lengthy legal fight, she became full owner of her line. It was nearly swept from under her thumb after Sequential Brands Group Inc., the brand’s previous parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, leaving the brand in limbo. 

Source: YouTube

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Simpson and her mom Tina worked hard to have control going from owning a minority stake of just 37.5% in the company to now owning the whole thing. “It means the absolute world to me to be able to take over complete ownership of my brand,” the singer told Footwear News. “After 16 years in business, I feel ready to meet this next exciting phase with open arms. I know the sky is the limit when my mom, our incredible team, and I lock into our customers completely.”