Kimora Lee Simmons moving in a new direction-Launches a New Fashion Brand for Working Mothers
July 1, 2015 | Patricia ‘Blu’ Freeman
Kimora Lee Simmons is launching a luxury-priced fashion line for women who are juggling work and family. Although Few women have been a Chanel model, the wife of music mogul Russell Simmons or her own show on the Style Network reality show “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane”, Ms. Simmons is up for the challenge of appealing to the every day woman, who as she says, “women just like her”. A wife, mother, entrepreneur, divorcee and master living positively in a blended family made her relatable to the every day woman.
In a Wall Street Journal’s (WJS) interview, with Simmons spoke with Christina Binkley to elaborate on the relaunch of the line and her new life. Ms. Simmons reveals, “But reality TV, Baby Phat fashion and the JustFab retail website are in her rearview mirror.”
WJS continues, What seems to take priority is the stability of family life with her investment banker husband Tim Leissner, who is chairman of Southeast Asia for Goldman Sachs, and gorgeous son Wolfe, who was born in April.
According to WJS:
She has resurrected the name KLS from a less-expensive juniors label that was discontinued five years ago. The first KLS store opened here on Beverly Drive several weeks ago, stocked with body-conscious suits, dresses and separates.
This is a line for women who don’t want to cross the line between sexy and trashy at work. Sturdy, stretchy fabrics hold the body snugly in place. Pencil skirts are trim but fall respectfully below the knee. It only goes up to size 12.
There’s just a whiff of denim. “Baby Phat was $50 jeans. These are $400 jeans,” she says. “This is not mass.” Filling out the collection are bags and wallets, big enough to carry what working women haul around.
Manufactured in New York, KLS is available at her store and website. Prices range from $425 for pants to $1,550 for some dresses.
A 6-foot-tall whirlwind who rocks 4-inch heels, Ms. Simmons blew into the store recently accompanied by an entourage: a nanny, nine-week-old Wolfe, Mr. Leissner, one highly attentive personal assistant and three hair, makeup, and wardrobe stylists. She was running late, but paused to pose for paparazzi gathered on the sidewalk.
A former fashion model who was hired by Karl Lagerfeld at 15, Ms. Simmons, now 40, has lived in the fast lane for all of her adult life. Her four children include two daughters, Ming Lee Simmons, 15, and Aoki Lee Simmons, 12, with Mr. Simmons; and a son, 8-year-old Kenzo Lee Hounsou, from a relationship with actor Djimon Hounsou. Her current husband, Mr. Leissner says he proposed to her by the end of a four-hour flight after they met. They married in 2013 and are sometimes photographed as a family with Mr. Simmons included.
Now, Ms. Simmons is dabbling in venture capital and other deals alongside Mr. Leissner. Their ventures range from a Paris-based cosmetics line called Codage, an energy drink called Celsius, a sports-team investment fund and an artificial-intelligence company. She has stayed largely out of the limelight since her TV show went off the air in 2011 after five years. Now, with one of her daughters just out of the hospital after spinal surgery, and her days punctuated with pumping breast milk for the baby, Ms. Simmons refers to her new stage in life as “Kimora, Version Five.” “I want [people] to know me for having a high-end and elevated brand,” she says.