Last year, my boss hired her nephew to help out around the office. His initial responsibilities included scheduling, making spreadsheets, and occasional filing. After six months of ineptitude that could only be described as indescribable, his primary role is now counting reams of paper to make sure each contains 500 sheets; but he is still there.
Blind-eye nepotism is not just confined to the typical office environment. Despite not knowing the difference between chicken and tuna, singer and actress Jessica Simpson has created a successful range of clothing for women and young adults which has reached a revenue of almost one billion dollars. Recently, Jessica decided to expand her label by targeting the tween market and has recruited her sister, Ashlee, as a co-creative director for this new venture, which will be in stores this fall.
Jessica told Women's Wear Daily that she is excited to bring her sister along as co-creative director of this division because she brings a savvy rocker edge that defines today's tweens. The new collection will feature sportswear, jeanswear, and activewear while focusing on Simpson's girly, playful attitude.
When Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen created a pre-teen clothing collection in the late '90s, their line was wildly successful due to the name association, bargain prices at Walmart and appeal to a demographic who were, at that time, in their own age group.
As Ashlee is nearly 30 years old and her resume consists entirely of a short stint on Melrose Place and an infamous lip-syncing incident on SNL when today's teens were just learning to walk, the branding issue with appealing to a relatable market is inherently absent. Jessica and her marketing team have been obviously doing something right thus far, so it will be interesting to see if Ashlee's experience and contribution will take the brand to a new level or if she ends up demoted to counting sheets of paper in the copy room.