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Could Jessica Simpson be the next Tim Gunn? And is her upcoming show 'Fashion Star' the new (and improved?) 'Project Runway'?

Jessica Simpson

(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Jessica Simpson may not know some things, like that dating John Mayer never helped anyone, and of course, the great Chicken of the Sea mystery. But, there is one thing the 30-year-old star has down pat: Finding success in the fashion world.

In fact, the singer/actress/reality star has built her own billion-dollar fashion empire thanks to her lines of jeans, shoes, sportswear, perfumes, and accessories. Now Simpson is gearing up to enter another facet of the fashion world: Being the guru/guide of a designer-based reality competition. NBC confirmed to EW that Simpson will act as a mentor on their upcoming reality series Fashion Star

The show, which is on the heels of a major Project Runway void (it’s been nearly a full eight months since the Gretchen victory fiasco), will feature 14 unknown designers who will compete to launch their own line with major retailers. But unlike PR, there will be a fashion show (complete with live music and a studio audience) each week and viewers will be able to purchase all the winning designs.

Simpson – who despite having her own very lucrative and, perhaps most importantly, accessible brand, has had her share of famous style missteps – will be to Fashion Star what Tim Gunn is to Project Runway. But can Simpson, who appeared as a guest judge on PR, be able to convince the show’s contestants, or viewers for that matter, to take her seriously?

Moreover, will Simpson – whose reality television career (and her career itself, for that matter) was propelled thanks to Newlyweds – be able to hold on to her convictions from the short-lived, but inspirational and decidedly un-fashionista VH1 series The Price of Beauty?

Still, Simpson, who will appear on Fashion Star alongside its host Elle Macpherson, could very well become the next Tim Gunn. After all, she, not unlike him, is friendly, likable and certainly knows a thing or two about what it takes to do well in the fashion industry.

Hey, at the very least, she’ll get her own new catch phrase that has nothing to do with tuna.

Would you trust Jessica Simpson’s fashion advice, PopWatchers? Does she have the potential to be the next Tim Gunn? Or does Fashion Star have the potential to become the next Project Runway for that matter?

Originally posted June 13 2011 — 6:55 PM EDT

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