The team helps create a cohesive brand for girls and women looking for fashion at accessible price points. Director of Public Relations Peggy Merck says being part of the brand’s team has allowed her to see the loyalty that Simpson’s fans have for her and the response they generate to her work, which she says is amazing. “I spend a lot of time in the media, following our posts and responses, and we have a really loyal brand following,” she adds. “[Simpson] has a fan base that feels close to her because she’s really great at opening her life up.”
Designing the Home
The Jessica Simpson Bedding and Home Accessory Collection embodies Simpson’s feminine design take on modern Americana. Products will feature bohemian prints, delicate floral, and soft, romantic ruffles that can create a whimsical, vintage or modern look in the home. “We are staying true to her roots,” Merck says. “She is a Texas country girl at heart and has a great sense of style; the collection includes everything from light delicate floral designs to bolder prints.”
The line includes comforter sets and duvets, embroidered quilts, bedspreads and accessories, such as decorative pillows, bed skirts, euro shams, throw blankets and drapery, as well as sheet sets and basic bedding. Comforter sets will range in price from $149 to $179 and decorative pillows will be priced from $40 to $60. “We have had a great response from retailers,” Robert says. “It’s a new point-of-view and brings a fashion element to the home space.”
Everything in the brand closely aligns with what is happening in Simpson’s personal life. The Jessica Simpson Collection is inspired by and designed in collaboration with Simpson. She and her mother, Tina, have worked side-by-side for years developing her eponymous collection and home interiors have always been a shared passion.
To create the bedding and home décor collection, Camuto Group and Simpson signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Peking Handicraft Inc., an international manufacturer and wholesaler based in San Francisco that specializes in home textiles, decorative accessories and giftware. The company was chosen because it had a profound understanding of the Jessica Simpson aesthetic, great integrity and a positive connection with the Simpson family, Robert says.
“Jessica Simpson has the uncanny ability to build and maintain a unique emotional connection with the American public,” Peking Handicraft President Mark Grand says. “We are overjoyed to be partnering with Jessica and her team in bringing trend-right, value-driven home textiles to a consumer who has responded enthusiastically to her collection of apparel, shoes, handbags and more.”
Also joining the home offering for fall 2014, through a partnership with 1888 Mills, is a full collection of kitchen and bath towels with a specialty USA-made collection for spring 2015. Featuring a vibrant color palette of solids, stripes and cheerful prints, the line is designed to mix and match and complement the bedding. A collection of rugs and accessories is also in development with Bacova Guild Ltd.
The Jessica Simpson Collection appeals mainly to women ages 18 to 29 that are entering different phases of their lives at similar times with Simpson, Merck notes. “A lot of Jessica’s fans have grown up with her and now they are moving in with their boyfriends, getting engaged, setting up their first apartment, as well as having children that want fashion for themselves and their bedrooms,” Merck says.
The home collection launched in May at select Bed Bath and Beyond stores to capture the college demographic, and the entire collection will be released in the fall at retailers nationwide.
Camuto Group created an early buzz about the Jessica Simpson Bedding and Home Accessory Collection by sharing photos and blogging about the products. “It’s so important today to be looking mobile with social media and fashion blogs,” Robert notes.
“We shared some photos of the bedding and towel collection and it became one of our highest-performing Instagram posts,” Merck says. “It’s exciting to see that response.”
Fans are loyal to the Jessica Simpson Collection because Simpson influences it and her personality comes through. She invites people in by sharing pieces of her life, such as photos on Instagram of her children in the living room or wrapped in bath towels, and Merck says this invites her fans to feel closer and see her as “the girl next door.” “They see her doing what we all do and it extends beyond her celebrity,” she adds. “I think we have that loyal brand following at retail and a natural fan base because of that.”
To keep fans connected to everything Jessica Simpson, the www.jessicasimpson.com site is under renovation, but plans for the site include the marriage of e-commerce and a content-based platform for the Jessica Simpson lifestyle.
Outside of the home space, the collection continues to grow by building out its existing categories at retail. This spring, a swimwear collection for tween girls, sizes seven to 16, was introduced, as well as extended sizes, designed specifically for a fuller figure, as part of the women’s offering. In maternity, a collection of swimwear and activewear for expecting mothers also launched this spring. A limited-edition fragrance, Fancy Girl, a sunny, fruity floral scent sold as a set with three nail lacquers keeps things fresh in the beauty department.
In the future, the Jessica Simpson Collection will continue to closely align with Simpson’s personal and professional life, and expand to fit the needs of women. “The line is evolving,” Robert says. “We work hard to align the brand with what is happening in Jessica’s life in an authentic way. Nothing happens that is not connected to her personal and professional endeavors. It makes a lot of sense for us and the customer.”