Jessica Simpson to Mentor Contestants on NBC’s ‘The Fashion Star’

For a long time, Jessica Simpson was this close to something big. She had a few hit tunes in the early aughts and a successful, if short-lived, reality show with ex-husband Nick Lachey, but despite a big voice and bubbly persona, her oft-rocky love life was the real star of the show. Until she started making purses…

If the 2005 launch of the Jessica Simpson Collection felt like just another celebrity vanity brand at the time, it has evolved into something much bigger. Buoyed by the fact that her threads are wearable, affordable and on trend, Simpson’s line has become the biggest celebrity fashion brand ever, with revenue projected to top $1 billion in 2011.

So it’s no surprise that NBC has tapped the starlet to mentor contestants on its new reality show, The Fashion Star. Simpson will share her expertise (who thought we’d ever say that?) with a group of aspiring designers “as they compete for the chance to win a multi-million dollar contract to launch their own brands.”

“Jessica Simpson has built an incredible fashion business and is a perfect mentor to our aspiring designers,” former NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, whose Electus Entertainment will produce alongside The Magical Elves and 5X5 Media, said in a statement.

Current NBC and Universal Media Studios executive vice president Paul Telegdy shares Silverman’s enthusiasm, saying, “With an almost billion-dollar lifestyle brand under her belt she is sure to be an excellent mentor to our up-and-coming designers.”

Does Simpson have what it takes to be the next Tim Gunn? Let us know if you think she can make it work in the comments.