Jessica Simpson brings mom Tina and hairdresser Ken Paves along to the QVC Presents FFANY Shoes on Sale event benefiting breast cancer research and education held Tuesday at NYC’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. A crowd swarms around her at 6:20pm and follows until she checks out an hour later.
Chewing gum, the superstar, 29, is fresh from Morocco and dressed maturely in Dolce and Gabbana when she gamely stops by the print pen to chat about her dog, dating, The Price of Beauty, her trip and why breast cancer research is important to her.
She somberly tears up when loss of her dog Daisy is mentioned – poor thing. (Even Paris Hilton expresses condolences.)
“Um … Daisy – she means the world to me, and I hold her memory very, very close,” Jessica stammers. “It’s a very unfortunate thing, what happened. I wasn’t in town, so to know that I don’t have … to know every day that I don’t have her is a very hard thing. I haven’t really thought about another dog yet, but maybe sometime. I’m sure sometime – she would want that.”
That was tough. She handles online dating questions like a pro, though.
“Online dating?! Ha. Anybody who can find love online, I guess, so be it, but I’ve never tried to find love online, I have to say.”
Ultimately, I like her. For such a huge star, she’s remarkably humble and looks everyone in the eyes as she talks to them.
Now for a Price of Beauty spoiler alert: She was offered a brain sandwich!
“We definitely had our moments,” the blonde beauty says of life in Morocco. “Somebody threw a bun in front of me, and I was supposed to make a brain sandwich. You know, that’s not really something I want to partake in.”
She calls Morocco “extremely empowering.”
“The women there are incredible,” Jessica says. “Such powerful people, and going in, you would think that the women would be repressed, but there was nothing repressed about the women. The woman owns the house, she’s in complete control. She stays covered to keep herself for her man, so everything – the way that she contacts you – is only through her eyes. You have to know that when somebody can carry themselves very confident, sexy, all-knowing, and they can be completely covered, it’s all about what’s inside of them. They’ve done their own personal homework, and really just studied themselves, and to me, that is what beauty is. It’s not anything that anybody else says about you that can define what is beautiful. It’s about what you define as beautiful. I love Morocco.”
What’s the biggest lesson she’s learned from filming The Price of Beauty so far?
“Every country is different, but the way we all relate to each other … and what I hope people get from the show is looking inside of yourself, and finding that which is beautiful to you, and defining it for yourself,” she tells me. “There is no definition of beauty. You are the only one who can define that.”
She has a personal connection to tonight’s breast cancer research cause.
“Both my grandmothers suffered from breast cancer,” Jessica says. “One was a survivor and one wasn’t, so when they said that I could get out there and get my voice heard, and hopefully raise awareness … it’s all I can do for it. Are you kidding? Of course! This is everything we’re about.”
We’re promised more time with Jessica, but told that she’s upset so she’s not taking any more questions. Hoping to sway her with sweetness, we trail along when she heads upstairs to the makeshift shoe store. She brings along hairstylist Ken, who admits that his clients Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Lady Gaga and Victoria Beckham all use Jessica Simpson’s extensions! Whoa.
Ken says Jessica loves his Ken Paves haircare line of shampoo and conditioner. “She used my flat iron herself the other day, and told me she loves it.”
What makes Jessica beautiful on the inside?
“Her true beauty is on the inside,” he says. “It’s actually what bonds our friendship. Our friendship is not bonded by anything that anybody would ever imagine. It goes much deeper than that. I’ve gotten to know someone really inspiring, and someone who really lives to be a good person. That’s what I’m in love with, and the outside is something else.”
What tips can he share for processed hair?
“It’s good to not wash your hair as often,” he says. “Good shampoo and conditioner. Mine, I love, and I also love Moroccan oil and olive oil is an amazing conditioner. Not washing it as much is a really good tip.”
Whew, Jessica is out at 7:25pm, so the heat is off and it’s time for dinner.
Appetizers include potato croquette, butternut squash, chicken roulade with cornbread stuffing (mmm!), smoked trout on a mini pancake and tuna tartare in mini sugar cone. For the main dish, it’s all about beef medallions, green beans and onions and a corn pudding soufflé. For dessert? Apple and pear pie.