Math Is Hard: Is Jessica Simpson a Billionaire? (No!)

A quick note on how math and business works, regarding this: “Singer Jessica Simpson is on the fast track to becoming a fashion billionaire—her various clothing and beauty ventures have racked up a huge $750 million in sales in the last year alone.” Uh? “It’s hard to believe that Jessica Simpson is in fact a fashion powerhouse, sitting at the helm of a nearly $1 billion empire.” It is! Although to be fair to the reporters of WWD, it is fascinating that of all the celebrities who tried to cash in on fragrances and sunglasses, she’s the success. But yet one of the things about businesses is that they have “costs,” “profits” and some things called “net” and “gross”? And also? It’s not her company? So like, basically, do not be alarmed, tiny, tiny little-person Jessica Simpson is not a billionaire and that in any event this putative “billion dollars” (which is not a billion dollars) is from products made by companies (companies that also perpetrate the nightmare that is Tory Burch!) nested within companies to which she licensed her name for fees plus a few points.