Jessica Simpson talks sobriety, Britney Spears Mix-Up and her era of icons

Jessica Simpson is in its iconic era. The 43-year-old fashion mogul was honored with the Icon Award at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New York City on Wednesday night, where she opened up to ET about living her life with “a lot of blind faith,” her biggest revelation. since quitting alcohol, and her thoughts about it Britney Spears‘ memoirs.

“I don’t have big expectations for myself, I just take it one step at a time,” Simpson admitted to ET’s Rachel Smith in a backstage interview. The superstar has now spent nearly two decades building her eponymous shoe line and lifestyle brand, and two years ago she and her mother, Tina, took back ownership of the multibillion-dollar company after its former parent company filed for bankruptcy.

“I don’t believe there’s any way to fail, so I won’t,” Simpson told ET on Wednesday. “I think it might be risky for the average person to do what I do and invest in yourself, but I believe in myself so much and I believe in myself enough to know my worth and invest in my worth, and hopefully achieve that and then some for my children.”

Jessica Simpson attends the 37th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street on November 29, 2023 in New York City. – Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Simpson lives her life with newfound clarity after getting sober six years ago. Earlier this month, she celebrated the anniversary of her sobriety with share an image on the last day she drank alcohol.

“I don’t even know that person,” she reflected. “That person didn’t feel. Now I’m in the world where I just feel everything and whatever happens, even if it’s a sad emotion, I get through it faster and I don’t hold on to it. So for me, eliminating of alcohol was like eliminating fear.”

The mother of three – daughter Maxwell, 11; son Ace, 10; and daughter Birdie, 4, with husband Eric Johnson — added that “clarity and presence are best.”

In 2020, Simpson offered a raw and candid look into her life with the release of her memoir, Open book. Now she’s praising fellow pop legend Spears for taking control of her own narrative this year with her book, The woman in me.

“It’s hard to put out a memoir,” said Simpson. “It’s very fragile.”

The “I Wanna Love You Forever” singer revealed that she hasn’t read Spears’ book yet, but she will “definitely pick it up” because “I want to hear what she has to say.”

“I’ve been in work mode of writing, which I haven’t done in so long,” Simpson shared. “I have no inclination to listen or read or do anything other than what my soul needs at that moment.”

While both women dominated the early pop music scene, Simpson recently said that fans still mistake her for Spears on the street.

“I mean, that’s my whole life,” Simpson joked. “Not always, but I mean there are similarities and I think because we both grew up in the business together, it’s easy to get it wrong. Brown eyes, blonde hair, Southern.”

Jessica Simpson attends the 37th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street on November 29, 2023 in New York City. – Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Wednesday marked Simpson’s first red carpet appearance since 2018, when she was previously pregnant with her third child. She was honored with a Fashion Icon Award at the time.

“I haven’t done a red carpet in five years, holy crap,” Simpson joked to ET. “I think it was only eleven weeks, but it looked like I was ready to pop.”

Fashion Icon Award Honoree Jessica Simpson attends the 25th annual QVC "FFANY Shoes on Sale" Gala at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on October 11, 2018 in New York City. – Brian Ach/Getty Images

But what is iconic for Simpson goes much deeper than fashion.

“There are all kinds of iconic moments,” she shared, “I feel like even holding my babies makes me feel like an icon.”

Like them returns to the music industrySimpson is excited to share that side of herself with her children in the coming year.

“Music is really exciting for me right now because I just finished writing it, so now I’m about to record it,” she revealed. “My children will be introduced to me as an artist, and that’s the most powerful thing about it: to see them see me as my childhood dreams. To see me as a woman walk on stage as their mother, and be that for them. I’m really excited about that part.’

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