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Jessica Simpson Talks About Her Pandemic Year and Bringing Her Kids Into the Family Business

Since launching her eponymous lifestyle label in 2005, Jessica Simpson has worn many hats as a singer, actress and entrepreneur.

And in December, she added another project to her busy schedule, announcing a deal with Amazon to executive produce a docuseries and a scripted coming-of-age series based on her best-selling memoir “Open Book.”

But over the past year, Simpson, like the rest of the world, has been spending more time than ever at home with her family, including husband Eric Johnson and their three kids: daughters Maxwell (Maxi) and Birdie, and son Ace. Her Instagram feed — once filled with glamorous outfits and locales — now features matching family sweatsuits and chili recipes.

That emphasis on family extends to her fashion empire as well. In recent seasons, Simpson has enlisted her daughters as models to help promote her Jessica Simpson label. 

She recently put the finishing touches on the fall ’21 girls’ collection, created in partnership with parent company Sequential Brands Group and kids’ licensing firm Esquire Brands. (Camuto Group also remains a key partner for the brand.) 

The playful girls’ line includes mini versions of trendy women’s styles. “I love the fuzzy slippers,” said Simpson. “And the combat boots are so cute.

Here, she shares more about shoes, life and business.

What is one thing that helped you to get through this stressful year? 

Jessica Simpson: “Family. Personally, home has been the grounding silver lining for my family. Enjoying the extra time with my kids and Eric that I wouldn’t normally have has been the biggest blessing of a disquieting year.”

Have your daughters inherited your love for fashion?

JS: “Maxi is a lot like my sister, Ashlee: bold and creative with a clear perspective on what she likes. Birdie is a shoe fanatic. She changes shoes five times a day. If we receive new shoes, Birdie is the first one to wear them.”

Jessica Simpson Daughter Birdie
Jessica Simpson’s 2-year-old daughter Birdie already is in love with shoes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sequential Brands Group

What’s it been like doing photo shoots with your girls to promote the brand?

JS: “Having the little ladies with me keeps me on my toes and my smile genuine. The Jessica Simpson Collection has always been a family business — it has been so special to be able to build it with my mom and now get to involve my daughters, who already have such a big influence on the design and inspiration. And just so Ace doesn’t feel left out, we are also launching his inspirations for boys’ bedding.”

What has been your go-to footwear during the pandemic?

JS: “I have a great collection of slides and slippers — the only flats I wear. I don’t like to walk barefoot these days, so you’ll never catch me without a great pair of socks paired with slip-ons when I’m at home. I’m always a person to mix and match fun prints and patterns — even though it’s just my family who sees me — just to feel stylized.”

What are you most looking forward to wearing when it’s time to dress up again? 

JS: “After a year, I am looking forward to getting back into denim. I feel most confident in a great pair of my Kiss Me ankle jeans with a vintage T-shirt.”

You’ve built one of the most successful celebrity fashion brands ever. What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs?   

JS: “My advice would be: If the shoe fits wear it — in all colorways, prints and fabrications. Notice the fashion surrounding you, not just commercialized style. Personally, I look into the crowd in every city to notice individuality. Also, I found the common ground of ‘favorite fits’ so I could deliver consistent styles for everyone’s needs, then added what I thought they would want within their comfort zone, pushing the limits with colors first, then prints, etc. I am surrounded by a passionate, fashion-loving team who all have a unique eye for personal style. That collaboration pushes each delivery with confidence. My mom, team and I work together to bring our vision to life in every single product.”

Any guidance for working moms on how to juggle it all? 

JS: “There is inspiration all around us. Balance is key. I always have a notebook close by to jot down any idea I do not want to forget, even on a trampoline with my kids or in a parked car waiting for them to come out of school. That way no moment is inconvenient and I’m never left overwhelmed and frustrated by a loss of time. Work and motherhood is an uplifting combo when we can find small ways to navigate it all.”

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