Jessica Simpson wanted her fashion brand worth billions of dollars back. “borrowing against her homes,” to do it.
Businessweek interviewed the business mogul to discuss the desperate measures she took for her fashion empire to survive.
“Even if I have to go live in a little, tiny place in Ireland, I will,” Simpson, 41, explained.
She made the decision to return her company during a difficult period in her own life.
In 2019, while 34 weeks pregnant with her third child, Simpson was hospitalized with severe bronchitis as her daughter’s status began to deteriorate.
“Her oxygen levels were dropping. I couldn’t breathe,”Simpson, who was hooked up to an oxygen generator, said: Though her and her daughter’s health stabilized, it was time to turn her attention to the health of her empire.
The Jessica Simpson Collection, a company she founded in 2005, had surpassed $1 billion in sales in 2014. However, it was slowly falling into financial ruin in the years that followed.
In hospital, she decided to regain control of the company. This would set off a two-year battle against Sequential Brands Group Inc.. Sequential had bought a majority of the company’s stock in 2015. This left Simpson and Tina with a 37.5% minority stake.
Jessica Simpson appears on the cover for Businessweek magazine.
The Jessica Simpson Collection seen in the windows of Macy’s Herald Square on Aug. 17, 2009 in NY.WireImage
The Jessica Simpson Collection as seen in 2009.WireImage
But it was clear after a few decades that her affordable lifestyle brand, a brand that produces shoes, clothing and other items for ladies, would not expand under Sequential as they had promised.
The company was in financial trouble, and Simpson knew that the business she had built from the ground up was in danger.
“My name was on it,”Simpson said. “I don’t ever move away from my name.”
One of the homes she was willing and able to sell to save her legacy. Hidden Hills’ six-bedroom, 10-bathroom home spans 11,000 sqft and is on more than 2 acres. Simpson purchased the home from Sharon Osbourne in 2013 for $11.5million.
The mansion covers almost 11,000 square feet. The photos of the home are from the 2011 listing.
The grand staircase and floor to ceiling windows. Courtesy Of
A view of the grand foyer that leads to several rooms. Courtesy:
The library. Courtesy
A terrace looking out onto the expansive backyard. Courtesy Of
“We’re ready to go into the trenches,” Simpson continued. “Pay it all back and earn it ourselves.”
Sequential purchased the Jessica Simpson Collection for $353 million at the time — their largest acquisition by far. But those who held a stake in the brand quickly realized they had been ahead of their time.
“How in God’s name are they going to make enough money through licensing to cover the costs?”Michael Stone, chairman and cofounder of brand licensing agency Beanstalk Group LLC told. “I couldn’t do the math.”
Sequential Brands Group Inc. will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by August 2021.
Simpson offered to buy the brand for $65 million a month later.
After her determination and reclaim of the brand, Simpson was named CEO of Jessica Simpson Collection in October.
“It means the absolute world to me to be able to take over complete ownership of my brand,”Simpson spoke to Footwear News in an additional interview.
“After 16 years in business, I feel ready to meet this next exciting phase with open arms. I know the sky’s the limit when my mom, our incredible team and I lock into our customers completely.”