Kimora Lee Simmons
|Kimora Lee Simmons|
Simmons at the Push premiere in January 2009
|Born||Kimora Lee Perkins
May 4, 1975
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Spouse||Russell Simmons (1998–2009)|
|Partner||Djimon Hounsou (2007–2012)|
Early life 
Simmons was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her Korean mother, Joanne Perkins worked as an administrator for Social Security. Joanne was adopted by an American serviceman during the Korean War and raised in the USA. She now claims to have been born in Korea but be of Japanese ethnicity, and goes by Kimora's maternal grandmother's Japanese name, Kyoko. Kimora's father, Vernon Whitlock Jr., is African American, has worked as a Federal Marshal, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigator, a bail bondsman, and is currently a barber in St. Louis. Her parents split up when she was very young and she was raised as an only child by her mother.
Growing up in the northern St. Louis suburb of Florissant, Missouri, Kimora was the target of schoolyard bullying and teasing, because of her height (she was 5 feet, 10 inches tall by the time she was 10 years old) and mixed ancestry. To help her, Simmons's mother enrolled her in a modeling class when she was eleven years old. Two years later she was discovered by Marie-Christine Kollock (a representative for seminal Paris Agency Glamour) at a Model Search in Kansas City (organized by Kay Mitchell) and sent to Paris.
Fashion business 
Just after her fourteenth birthday, Simmons was awarded an exclusive modeling contract with Chanel and went to work under the tutelage of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld. She quickly gained attention in the fashion world when she closed Lagerfeld's haute couture show in 1989. "Everything people thought was weird about me before", Kimora told People Weekly, "was now good".
In 2004, Russell Simmons sold Phat Farm to Kellwood Company for $140 million. When Russell stepped down as CEO of Phat Fashions LLC in September 2007, Simmons—who was already Creative Director of Baby Phat (which was a branch off Phat Farm Industries)—was promoted by Kellwood to President and Creative Director of Phat Fashions. It was her goal to turn fashion label Baby Phat, launched in 1999, into an "aspirational lifestyle brand". Her high-end sportswear line, KLS, launched in Fall 2007.
A self-help book written by Simmons, Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It, was published by HarperEntertainment in February 2006. The book is set to function as a 'lifestyle manual' on everything from spirituality and finances to fashion and beauty. She has also launched five perfumes for women: Goddess, Golden Goddess, Seductive Goddess, Baby Phat Fabulosity, Love me, and the last fragrance she put out from her time with Baby Phat, Dare Me.
On September 1, 2010, Simmons parted ways with Baby Phat and its management company, Kellwood. The details as to why Simmons was removed as Creative Director haven't been very clear; some blog sites are claiming that it was because Simmons was spending too much money on company pursuits and giving far too much pay to herself and her children. Since the split, Simmons plans to launch her KLS collection and Kouture by Kimora Brands. She also has an exclusive brand coming to Macy's that will offer stylish clothes for under $40. On September 14, 2011, Simmons announced on her website that she is the new Creative Director and President of JustFab, a personalized shopping website.
Film and television 
In 2003, Simmons signed on as one of the judges on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 1. She was scheduled to return to the show as a judge starting with cycle 14. However, she changed her plans and did not return to the show as judge. She has been a co-host of Sony Television's syndicated talk show Life & Style.
On August 5, 2007, season one of her reality TV show, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, premiered on Style Network. The show chronicles her daily life and routine as a mother and then-CEO of Phat Fashions.
Other Ventures 
Simmons sponsored the KLS Rushcard, which included her own line of purple Rushcards.
Personal life 
Lee met Russell Simmons in November 1992 during New York City's Fashion Week. She was 17 and about to finish high school; he was 35 and a self-admitted ladies man. The couple were married by Simmons's brother, Pentecostal minister and rapper Joey "Reverend Run" Simmons of Run DMC, on the Caribbean island of St. Bart's on December 20, 1998. They have two daughters; Ming Lee Simmons (born January 21, 2000) and Aoki Lee Simmons (born August 16, 2002). In July 2004, Kimora was arrested and charged with reckless driving, eluding police, driving with a broken brake light, and marijuana possession after a two-mile chase that began near the Saddle River Police Station and ended outside her estate in Saddle River, New Jersey. On August 9, 2005, Simmons pled guilty to the reckless driving charge and was placed on six months probation. Kimora and Russell officially separated in March 2006.
In the summer of 2008, Simmons and Hounsou participated in a traditional Benin wedding ceremony, and in May 2009, their son Kenzo Lee Hounsou was born. Simmons and Hounsou, who were never legally married in the United States, announced their separation in November 2012.
She established the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund at her high school alma mater in St. Louis to provide college tuition support for academically successful girls with financial needs and is an active member of youth advocacy organizations including Amfar, The G&P Foundation, Keep a Child Alive, Hetrick-Martin Institute and Rush Philanthropic where she is on the Board of Directors. The mayor of St. Louis presented Simmons the key to the city and named March 18, 2008 "Kimora Day" in St. Louis.
|1993||For Love or Money||Model||Alternative title: The Concierge|
|1999||The Big Tease||Dick Miyaki's Hair Model|
|2005||Rebound||Female Reporter #1|
|2006||Waist Deep||Fencing House Lady|
|2001||For Your Love||Shamira||1 episode|
|2007–2011||Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane||Herself|
|2013–present||Kimora: House of Fab||Herself|
- Russell's hip-hip birthday gift (April 26, 2004) People. Accessed 2008-02-19.
- Stephen M. Silverman with Tiffany McGee (March 31, 2006) Russell, Kimora Lee Simmons Split People. Accessed 2007-12-20.
- 'Fabulosity,' by Kimora Lee Simmons (review January 22, 2006) TheBookStandard.com. Accessed 2007-12-20.
- 'TV One on One' with Cathy Hughes (original airdate March 25, 2007) Tv One. Accessed 2010-01-29.
- Phoebe Eaton (June 14, 2004) Kimora Lee Simmons, the New Queen of Conspicuous Consumption New York Magazine. Accessed 2007-12-20.
- "Kimora Lee Simmons: “My Kids Make My World Go ‘Round”". August 2009.
- Galina Espinoza (July 1, 2002). Phat Cats. People. Accessed 2009-03-02.
- Lee's 'Fabulosity'. (December 2, 2005) ABC News 20/20. Accessed 2009-05-21.
- Julee Greenberg (February 1, 2007) The Dressy Side of Kimora (page 10) WWD. Accessed 2009-05-21.
- "Kimora Lee's split from Baby Phat wasn't amicable; 'It's very, very sad for me,' she says at FNO". NY Daily News (New York). September 11, 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
- "Kimora Lee Simmons 'dumped' from Baby Phat". New York Post (New York Post). August 25, 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
- 'Top Model' to get major makeover with Kimora Lee Simmons as new judge. (November 12, 2009) Daily News. Accessed 2011-10-10.
- "Kimora Lee Simmons Won't Judge America's Next Top Model". New York. December 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Stephen M. Silverman (August 11, 2005). "Kimora Lee Simmons Placed on Probation".
- Russell Simmons Okay with Kimora & Djimon (March 6, 2007) People. Accessed 2008-01-21.
- Kimora Lee Simmons files for divorce (March 26, 2008) MSNBC. Accessed 2008-05-17.
- Russell, Kimora Lee Simmons settle on child support. (February 27, 2009). USA Today. Accessed 2009-03-02.
- Sarah Michaud and Missy Ritt (May 31, 2009) Kimora Lee Simmons, Djimon Hounsou Have a Boy People. Accessed 2009-06-28.
- Kimora Lee's Designer Baby (June 3, 2009) New York Post. Accessed 2009-06-28.
- Jordan, Julie (2012-11-21). "Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou Separate". People. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Kimora Lee Simmons Helps Launch St Louis Fashion Week. (March 19, 2008) Apparel Search. Accessed 2009-05-05.
- Official website of Kimora Lee Simmons
- Kimora Lee Simmons blog posts on JustFab
- Kimora Lee Simmons at the Internet Movie Database
- Kimora Lee Simmons at the Fashion Model Directory
- Kimora Lee Simmons at the Fashion Model Directory
- Simmons' interview at OSMOZ
- Simmons' Vibe Profile