• Solange McKenzie

Kimora Lee Simmons: Face of the 21st Century

Kimora Lee Simmons

Kimora Lee Simmons started off her fashion career in 1988 as a model at age 13. During this same year, she had a contract with luxury brand Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld, who was a designer at the time took inspiration from Simmons due to his vision of racial inclusion for the brand. Lagerfeld often referred to her as, the "Face of the 21st Century". After her work with Chanel she modeled for other major fashion brands such as Fendi, Christian Dior, Anna Sui, Yves Saint Laurent and more.

While Kimora Lee Simmons started off as a model, she branched out into the world as a designer. In 1998, she started her brand "Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons". Her brand was the female extension of her husband, Russell Simmons' brand "Phat Farm" with the parent company being Phat Fashions. By 2002 Baby Phat was a household name and an iconic brand which shaped the 2000's era. Simmons intention with each collection was to design clothes she would love to wear. In 2004, Phat Fashions was purchased by Kellwood Company, however Kimora Lee Simmons stayed with Baby Phat as President and Creative Director. Under this leadership the brand was able to expand creating denim pieces, accessories, jewelry, fragrances, and even a custom Motorola i833 mobile phone. In 2007 she became President of Phat Fashions. After a majority stake in Phat Fashions was sold to Capital Partners in 2010, Simmons left the company.

Nine years later, in 2019, Simmons reacquired Baby Phat and launched an initial collection with Forever 21. Since then Baby Phat has launched separate collection of their own and even collaborated with sportswear store, Footlocker, for a collection. More recently, in August, Baby Phat Beauty was announced.

In addition to her work, designing and ownership of Baby Phat, she has had many endeavors. These include launching her KLS Fashion Collection in Macy's, launching Shinto Clinical, an anti-aging skincare line, and role as President and Creative Director of shoe shopping website Just Fab.

-Solange McKenzie

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