A brand is a promise, and you have to fulfill that promise, says Jaclyn Smith

Jaclyn Smith was a pioneer in the world of celebrity clothing lines. She signed with Kmart in 1985 to create apparel and accessories and the line still resonates with consumers today, holding firm as one of the retailer’s most reliable brands. Meanwhile other celebrity lines have come and gone––Sarah Jessica Parker, Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Lindsay Lohan, even Beyoncé have cut their losses on once-promising ventures. Smith’s longevity in the fickle apparel industry is almost without precedent.

So, what’s her secret? In a conversation hosted by Joe’s Black Book, she explains that it is her connection to the consumer and her commitment to the promise to design for their needs that she made over 35 years ago. “Are they going to like it and why do they like it?” are the questions that continue to drive her. In a pre-Instagram era she found store appearances satisfying, enjoying the opportunity to shake hands with her customers. “We grew together,” she say