Kimora Lee Simmons Biography
Kimora Lee Simmons born Kimora Lee Leissner is an American fashion model and fashion designer.
Kimora Lee Simmons Age
He was born on 4 May 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. He is 43 years old as of 2018.
Kimora Lee Simmons Family | Kimora Lee Simmons Parents
Her mother Joanne “Kyoko” Perkins, was born in Korea to a Japanese mother and her father Vernon Whitlock Jr., was a Federal Marshal, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigator, a bail bondsman, and a barber in St. Louis. She was raised by her mother after her parents separated.
Kimora Lee Simmons Ethnicity | Kimora Lee Simmons Race
She is an American but of mixed ancestry, Korean-Japanese and African-American.
Kimora Lee Simmons Husband
She has been married twice. She first married Russell Simmons, who she met in November 1992 during New York City’s Fashion Week. They married on December 20, 1998 on the Caribbean island of St. Bart’s. They separated in March 2006 and their divorce was finalized in January 2009. She begun dating actor and model Djimon Hounsou in March 2007 and announced their separation in November 2012. She confirmed her marriage to former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, in February 2014.
Kimora Lee Simmons Children | Kimora Lee Simmons Kids | Daughters
She has four children. Two daughters, Ming Lee Simmons born in January 21, 2000 and Aoki Lee Simmons born in August 16, 2002, from her first marriage with Russell, a son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou born on May 30, 2009, from her relationship with Djimon and a another son Wolfe Lee Leissner, born in April 2015 from her marriage with Goldman.
Kimora Lee Simmons Height, Weight and Body Measurements
Height: 6’0″ (183cm)
Weight: 139 pounds (183cm)
Body measurements: 38-29-37
Bra size:34 D
Feet/Shoe: size:9 US
Dress size: 8 (US)
Kimora Lee Simmons Education
She was enrolled by her mother in a modeling class when she was eleven years old. She then graduated at Lutheran North High School in St. Louis, Missouri.
Kimora Lee Simmons Chanel
She was awarded an exclusive modeling contract with Chanel and worked under the tutelage of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld. She gained attention in fashion world after closing Lagerfeld’s haute couture show in 1989. She walked for designers including Fendi, Emanuel Ungaro, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. She featured on the cover of the German, Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian editions of Harper’s Bazaar.
Kimora Lee Simmons Modeling Career
She took over Baby Phat after Russell Simmons and was CEO/creative director through 2010. Her high-end sportswear line, KLS, was launched in fall 2007. She left Baby Phat and its management company, Kellwood in on September 1, 2010. She then planned to launch her KLS collection and Kouture by Kimora Brands. She announced on her website on September 14, 2011 that, she was the new creative director and president of JustFab, a personalized shopping website. She left JustFab in May 2015, and relaunched her KLS label as a high end line, opening its first boutique in Beverly Hills in june 2015.
She has appeared in small roles in television and films including Brown Sugar, Beauty Shop, and Waist Deep. She also appeared in music videos for Usher, Ginuwine and Rich Gang. In 2003, shewas among the judges on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 1. She co-hosted Sony Television’s syndicated talk show Life & Style. She had her own reality television shows Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane which ran from 2007 to 2011 and Kimora: House of Fab in 2013.
Kimora Lee Simmons Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth of $50 million dollars.
Kimora Lee Simmons House
Together with her husband Tim Leissner, they bought a $27.5 million on a Mediterranean style mansion in the star-studded gated community of Beverly Park in Beverly Hills, Calif. It is a 20,612 square-foot home with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a mosaic pool and spa, a tennis court, a custom playground, a gazebo and two separate garages with enough space for five or more cars occupying more than five acres of land.
Kimora Lee Simmons Perfume
Her perfumes Kimora Lee Simmons’ fragrances, were licensed by Baby Phat. Baby Phat Goddess for is a mix of floral and spice and was introduced in 2005. It is housed in a pink vessel with a removable faux diamond ring around its neck, the gem shaped bottle was inspired by her love for jewelry. Golden Goddess was her second fragrances, it is a sparkling Asian floral fragrance presented in the same fashion as Goddess but golden in tones. Her other fragrances are the alluring Seductive Goddess, the seductive Fabulosity, the clean and citrusy Dare Me and the musky Luv Me.
Kimora Lee Simmons Show
Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.
This reality series follows the life and career of former model Kimora Lee Simmons, both at home with her children and in her design office, where she works on her successful urban couture line, Baby Phat, and her newer fashion line, KLS.
First episode date: 5 August 2007
Final episode date: 11 March 2011
Networks: E!, Esquire Network
Executive producer: Steven Cantor
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Kimora Lee Simmons talks fashion, female entrepreneurship
Kimora Lee Simmons Interview
Kimora Lee Simmons Turned Her Culture Into A Billion-Dollar Fashion Brand. Now She Says A Little Credit Is Due.
The Baby Phat mogul talks about pioneering trends, navigating marginalization, and the unsung influence of blackness in high-fashion.
When you created Baby Phat, what was your vision for it?
When I created Baby Phat, it was something that was very authentic to me. In that respect I feel that I am a pioneer because there were not a lot of women what I was doing at that time. I didn’t want to wear a football jersey from a man. That was not what I wanted in the sense that it was like your boyfriend’s clothes, like his jerseys. If anything, I would’ve made a sporty-looking jersey that was much smaller and more tailored and that’s why we created what everyone called the “baby tee.” At the time, there were a lot of men doing these things. You can speak with Russell [Simmons] or Puffy, but no one was doing it like we were doing it. We were speaking to the women. At that time [our customer] was a young woman and she wanted to feel sexy. We were crossing over to be more feminine and fitted and sensual. Not only did I bring a history of where I came from but also things that I’d seen and where I’d started and for me that was high fashion.
So, for Baby Phat, a result of that combination was a great fitted jean. They were super stretchy, I had the best jeans in the world. It was a denim company with little t-shirts, and dresses. The way that it was done and how we did our color blocking was different. It was offering something towards women.
A lot of the looks that you introduced with Baby Phat were marginalized in the late 90s and early 2000s and it was implied that they were limited to an “urban” community. Now, we see women who wouldn’t be considered a part of that demographic dress this way and it’s no longer labeled as “urban.”
And I was certainly embracing my history and where I’d come from, in coming off of the fashion runway and in the physical sense of where I was from in St. Louis, Missouri. There was nothing weird about that, certainly not as far as the fashion was concerned. The weird came from New York City streets, and Paris. It was homegrown [from all the different cities I’d spent time in].
I was paying homage to the feminine form, body, and shape and the references that I was using, the materials, the finishings, the metals and so on and so forth. The sizes of the logo, the placement of the logo — they were really big and they’re looking really big nowadays, too. Who would’ve thought ever that Ralph Lauren would have a logo on the chest that is the size of the palm of your hand? There was a time that someone would’ve mistakenly called that “ghetto.” But, that at the time would’ve been a negative connotation. So all I’m saying is, to me, whatever it is [labeled] is not negative. Even though you may have seen that in the ghetto you never would’ve said, “Oh, Ralph Lauren is ghetto.” Even now, for these other brands that are higher end, the logos are huge and so are the sizes of the zippers, the earrings, and the stitch. I call it “retro” but what I was doing back then was something that was true to myself because that’s where I was from.
I didn’t want to be called “urban” because I didn’t understand what made me urban and, let’s say, Tommy Hilfiger not. Now, people in fashion might call it that but they would not have said it then. To me, it was only called that because of the color of the people working there and I thought that was some real racist shit. So back then, I was fighting the fight because I wanted to be included — it was fashion.
ou’ll see braids on some celebrity and it’s like, ‘Oh, they started that trend.’ No, they really didn’t.
In the beginning, Baby Phat was a brand that many young black and brown girls could see themselves in. It represented our culture and style. We could still afford it and feel glamorous, too.
I always strived to represent my audience. Back then, I called Baby Phat “aspirational” because you could mix the high luxury with everyday streetwear but still, fashion is about that aspiration. It was living a dream. It was the American Dream, and that was who we represented and that was my customer. We were the American Dream. People may have tried to take us out of that, [but] we were nonetheless American.
How would you say that Baby Phat was received by traditional fashion institutions at the time?
I built Baby Phat to be a billion dollar brand. There was a time that I had probably 50 licenses that made everything from baby clothes to lunch boxes to color cosmetics, headphones, fragrances, you name it — it was huge. I always used to ask myself, What makes somebody successful? To me, numbers are success. People that you inspire is success. We had all of those things but there were definitely a lot of times that people didn’t want to let me in. When I’m talking “people,” I’m talking mainstream and high-end fashion. They didn’t always want to embrace me or consider me and I’d say, “Wow, I sold more than you. With my eyes closed.”
Why do you think that fashion was so hesitant to accept it?
Maybe Baby Phat was different or maybe it wasn’t so different. In a lot cases, they were trying to emulate it. Maybe it was the audience that I reflected or represented. For example, a big thing that we made big was the down puffer jackets with the fur around the hood. We pushed that jacket until it was at the MET Ball on the red carpet [worn] on the outside of a gown and then, sure enough, Moncler did it. We weren’t the first ones to make a ski jacket because, of course people, have been skiing for a hundred years but we were the first ones to make that fashion. Then, sure enough, it was being worn over Ralph Lauren and Donna Karen. So, they definitely emulated it. It is said that imitation is a high form of flattery so, if you look at it in that way, that’s what they were doing. Other people would say they were stealing.
How do you feel when you see other brands emulating a culture fashion didn’t want to fully accept before?
They’re inspired by something that we already knew and it’s also homage to vintage fashion, because what goes around comes around. Depending on who you’re talking about you may say, “Hey, you can’t do that. That’s not authentic to you.” But I was one of the creators and pioneers of it and it’s authentic to me —it may not be to everyone else who’s using it. I see it in the stores, ads, and the blogs. Maybe they call it American fashion but at the time it was “ghetto fabulous,” it was ”urban,” it was “hip-hop culture,” it was “streetwear.”
It was all of those things that they used to pigeonhole us when really we just wanted to be a part of the bigger conversation and sit at the bigger table. I guess when it works for them, they use it and are inspired by it but it boxes you in. And I was thinking outside of the box. I didn’t know how to go in a box. My mom is Asian. I didn’t go in a box. What box?
Do you feel like you received the proper credit for what you pioneered in hip-hop and fashion culture?
If I think about it in that way, maybe not. But I don’t ever look at things to get the credit because if so then there were all lot of things that didn’t get credit along the way. I know what it was and what my part was in the culture and in the upbringing of young ladies at that time. I often say [that] for fashion week, we were the first brand to broadcast live on a jumbotron in Times Square. A lot of people did it after that. I was the first designer in history to have a fashion show at Radio City Music Hall and others have done that since then. I was one of the first to put my kids in ads.
The reason I did that is because they were my mini-me’s and we were showing a lifestyle. I wasn’t afraid to show that I have a family and certain luxuries that I love. It was aspirational and certainly my customers were aspiring to be like me. They were aspiring to have the Franck Muller watch and if they couldn’t have that, they could have this Baby Phat jean because I wore my watch with that jean. It was a mixture of everything. It was actually the retailers that I think had a lot of success exploiting the market. Those big names and brands reversed with logo-driven goods and were replaced with proper streetwear they were pushing to be more “urban.” I feel the retailers really milked it to the last drop but that ushered in the death of urban sportswear. What you see now is that the trends that drove them are still alive and well. That’s the speed of contemporary and designer fashion.
In Milan, Philipp Plein had a 2017 Spring/Summer show called “Alice in Ghettoland.” It had fashion looks, big rope chains, logo sneakers, and all of that. It’s funny because my last show for my Kimora Lee Simmons line, which is designer-level, was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz because I’m from Missouri. It rings true all the time. I didn’t have to pick, The Wiz because there was a wizard that was for everybody and all the colors. Bring Toto too. If I did “Alice in Ghettoland” then or now I would’ve called it “Alice in Wonderland” or it would’ve been “Kimora’s Dreamland.” I wouldn’t have said “Ghettoland.”
You didn’t have to. When you look back, even the way you paired furs with silks and prints has come back around.
Yeah, I feel l like they never would authentically credit “urban” streetwear or certainly never credit black culture or minority culture for these trends. Now, they’re doing the baggy silhouettes, the layering of pieces, all of the Afrocentric hairstyles like a real afro. Now you’re seeing it on the runway. You’ll see dreads, big braids, and on and on with the make-up trends. You’ll see braids on some celebrity and it’s like, “Oh, they started that trend.” No, they really didn’t.
It’s very important to keep the dialogue about this alive. It’s not going anywhere. It may change how it looks and what it takes to do so but you’ll never be able to steal that beauty, those ideals and where those things came from. No one will ever be able to steal that. How far will you go to be able to get away with that? You won’t be able to get away with that. That’s within us. You can check it time and time again and it’s ours. So yes, a little credit is due.