Kimora Lee Simmons Dishes On Her New Line And Boston Fashion

Kimora Lee Simmons has had a serious eye for fashion since she first strutted down the catwalk at age 14 for Chanel. Since then, the supermodel-turned-clothing-designer started the Baby Phat clothing, shoe and accessory line for women and girls, which was created alongside the billion-dollar enterprise, Phat Farm, a line owned by her then-husband Russell Simmons. The model and designer had worked previously with some of the biggest names in the fashion world, including Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino and Fendi before transforming the Baby Phat line into a haute “aspirational lifestyle brand.”

Kimora Lee SimmonsPhoto Credit: Kimora Lee Simmons

Today, the pioneer of hip hop fashion has relaunched her luxury KLS line that can now be found at Bloomingdale’s in Chestnut Hill. The model-turned-fashion-designer’s Spring 2018 collection includes everything from classic tops to fashion forward dresses and a haute line of handbags and wallets.

Kimora Lee SimmonsPhoto Credit: Kimora Lee Simmons

We caught up recently with Lee Simmons to talk about her haute collection and Boston fashion.

Can you talk about the role Baby Phat had in making streetwear more fashion forward?

I like to think that Baby Phat had a tremendous impact on how fully-embraced streetwear is today. We were really the first to redefine what lifestyle pieces really look like, and I still feel its influence daily – particularly now that the 90s are making such a “comeback.”

What makes your Kimora Lee Simmons designs so unique?

The KIMORA LEE SIMMONS collection has very much evolved with my own evolution as a mother, designer, business owner and investor to offer superior, transitional and ultimately wearable pieces accented by a dose of my own spirit.

How do you want your styles represented on the runway?

I like to see the collection play off of the juxtaposition of strong, vivid color against softer, easier travel-ready styles designed to empower. I’m so proud that my daughter, Ming Lee Simmons, has modeled in our last two showings – she’s an integral part of showing who I am and where the business is headed.

Can we see some Baby Phat flashbacks in your Kimora Lee Simmons line?

The success we’ve seen from the KIMORA LEE SIMMONS fashion brand was definitely influenced by the business acumen I gained as President of Phat Fashions. I wanted to explore how we evolve and what type of pieces I personally covet, focusing on entry-level price points in the American designer category. The aesthetic of the KIMORA LEE SIMMONS collection is more mature and refined, but the values remain similar.

How would you describe the KLS woman?

The KIMORA LEE SIMMONS customer is the woman who buys designer and appreciates wearability and versatility. She wants pieces that travel well, that can be worn in a variety of ways and are impeccably tailored, and she appreciates that every piece of our collection is designed and manufactured in New York City.

How would you describe Boston fashion?

When I think of Boston, I think of classic style, but always with a burst of attitude and intelligence. I think the KIMORA LEE SIMMONS collection really works there, and we’re seeing great success with the Bloomingdales at Chestnut Hill.