Jessica Simpson made flashbulbs pop on the red carpet last night, then took the stage to present the biggest award of the evening. But the occasion wasn't a Hollywood event for movie stars nor a Nashville music show -- it was the annual Footwear News (FN) Achievement Awards, honoring the biggest names in the shoe industry.
Jessica Simpson is one of those names these days... and she owes it all to her Daisy Duke boots. Vince Camuto, licenser of the Jessica Simpson Collection since 2005 and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award last night, told HuffPost Style, "We started with little Daisy Duke boots."
"Yeah, those boots!" Simpson chimed in, "That's what we started with -- and they took off and everyone responded."
That's probably an understatement. The Jessica Simpson Collection, which started with shoes but now boasts 30 categories including denim and accessories, was said to have brought in $750 million in sales in 2010 ("To put that figure in context, it means Jessica Simpson is doing roughly the same volume in sales as Michael Kors," wrote New York Magazine) and was projected to bring in one billion dollars in the past year.
Jessica wears the brand herself, casts her sister Ashlee in the ads and is currently stocked all over the country at the likes of Macy's, Lord & Taylor and Dillard's, not to mention Zappos and DSW.
That mass appeal is the founding principle of the brand, Jessica told us. "I think it's just an all-American brand that really all different kinds of women across America can and the world can wear. We give you everything, and it's not just limited to one certain fashionista," she said.
Added Vince,"We want to represent all women. They come in all different shapes, all different sizes, all different personalities..."
"And different pocketbooks!" said Jessica.
And thank goodness for that -- we're never not in the market for affordable boots. Especially ones like Daisy Duke's.
Remember these boots?
Before she was a big-time fashion mogul...