Could Jessica Simpson be the next Tim Gunn? And is her upcoming show 'Fashion Star' the new (and improved?) 'Project Runway'?


Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Jessica Simpson may not know some things, like that dating John Mayer never helped anyone, and of course, the great Chicken of the Sea mystery. But, there is one thing the 30-year-old star has down pat: Finding success in the fashion world.

In fact, the singer/actress/reality star has built her own billion-dollar fashion empire thanks to her lines of jeans, shoes, sportswear, perfumes, and accessories. Now Simpson is gearing up to enter another facet of the fashion world: Being the guru/guide of a designer-based reality competition. NBC confirmed to EW that Simpson will act as a mentor on their upcoming reality series Fashion Star

The show, which is on the heels of a major Project Runway void (it’s been nearly a full eight months since the Gretchen victory fiasco), will feature 14 unknown designers who will compete to launch their own line with major retailers. But unlike PR, there will be a fashion show (complete with live music and a studio audience) each week and viewers will be able to purchase all the winning designs.

Simpson — who despite having her own very lucrative and, perhaps most importantly, accessible brand, has had her share of famous style missteps — will be to Fashion Star what Tim Gunn is to Project Runway. But can Simpson, who appeared as a guest judge on PR, be able to convince the show’s contestants, or viewers for that matter, to take her seriously?

Moreover, will Simpson — whose reality television career (and her career itself, for that matter) was propelled thanks to Newlyweds – be able to hold on to her convictions from the short-lived, but inspirational and decidedly un-fashionista VH1 series The Price of Beauty?

Still, Simpson, who will appear on Fashion Star alongside its host Elle Macpherson, could very well become the next Tim Gunn. After all, she, not unlike him, is friendly, likable and certainly knows a thing or two about what it takes to do well in the fashion industry.

Hey, at the very least, she’ll get her own new catch phrase that has nothing to do with tuna.

Would you trust Jessica Simpson’s fashion advice, PopWatchers? Does she have the potential to be the next Tim Gunn? Or does Fashion Star have the potential to become the next Project Runway for that matter?

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • mick

    Jessica Simpson seems very sweet but she dresses herself horrendously. Hopefully she’ll be better at helping others to dress.

    • etm

      You are so right. She has no idea how to dress for her body type.

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  • carrie

    Maybe it is a “those who can’t do, teach” kind of concept? I would definitely watch though and wish her the best.

    • Matt

      Except that most teachers actually *can* do. And they teach because they want others to be able to “do” as well. :)

      • Sara

        Thank you, Matt. That’s a tired cliche that should really disappear.

  • Simonne Leon

    Jessica Simpson may be a lot of things, but the girl sure knows how to build an empire. I researched online and it definitely is a billion(!) dollar empire. She’s actually a pretty good singer so I don’t know why she dumbed herself down during her Nick Lachey days…mmmm Nick Lachey.

  • maggie

    The fact that her shoes, etc. sell so well shows that she knows what the public wants fashion-wise. That should make what she says to the contestants valuable.

    • faux

      She just sold her name as a brand name for the line. She has nothing to do with the actual designing. The people running the business might humor her by letting her “approve” shoes real designers have designed, much like a toddler who gets to pick his Garanimals outfit each morning.

  • canuck1975

    … but will she go to Red Lobster with Tim Gunn?

    • maj

      I always want the comment board to have a “like” button when I see comments like these :)

    • Jennifer


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  • JPX

    “the singer/actress/reality star has built her own billion-dollar fashion empire thanks to her lines of jeans, shoes, sportswear, perfumes, and accessories.’ Please, the only thing high school dropout Jessica did was lend her name. If you think for one moment that this dolt “built” anything than you are delusional. This show will be yet another failure in a long line of Jessica failures (e.g., music career, acting career, Price of Beauty, marriage…). It must be very depressing to think that you peaked at age 21.

    • faux

      You are exactly right. The only advise she could give about “designing” is “hope somebody buys your name and sells it for you to clothing manufacturers who employ real designers”. She’s a big fat phony.

    • Portia

      Yes, I’m certain that if I had earned a billion dollars by the age of 30…or any age for that matter…I would be deeply, DEEPLY depressed. JPX and faux, you’ve been sucking on some sour grapes!

      • damage control

        She didn’t earn a billion dollars. The CEO of the company that licensed her name issued a press release saying he expects retail sales for the line to reach that next year. That doesn’t mean it will or that the line is profitable. It could just mean he was trying to put a positive spin on all the negative press she brings to the line to try to do damage control.

  • ss

    I won’t watch. It sounds boring and I boycott all things Simpson.

  • sara

    Can’t wait to watch this show…Jessica is gorgeous & i luv her!!

  • ldm

    I don’t care if every one hates her, she is HOTT. I would take her advice any day!!!

  • cv

    I was about to say that you shouldn’t say her name in the same sentence as Mr. Tim Gunn, but I do have to say that she voted for Mondo not Gretchen so she’s got that going for her.

    • Jenny

      My thought exactly. She was actually right at that finale in voting for Mondo. Scared me a lot that I actually agreed with her.

  • amadeline

    This show is about accessible fashion, which she knows a lot about, plus, as you say, she’s very likeable, and a CV commented – she voted for Mondo! I can’t wait to see the show.

  • vince camuto

    Jessica Simpson…she’s so yucky!

  • divafantastic

    She lends her name to her fashion lines and has no fashion sense of her own. Victoria Beckham would have been a proper choice as she designs her outfits.

  • Jim

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz…huh…oh….wait…..Jessica Simpson is still getting work on television. Wake me in two months when it’s cancelled…..zzzzzzz…….

  • ABC

    Before reading this I must have totally blocked out the “Gretchen victory fiasco.” So much so that I was thinking Mondo had won and was wondering when the next season would be starting! Thanks for reminding me that I had vowed never to watch that show again!

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