Kimora Lee Simmons styled us all in our youth with her Baby Phat gear, but now she’s released a new brand that’s tailor-made for the grown-up set. Funny thing is, Simmons says that her KLS Kimora Lee Simmons line honors the person she was when she first started designing during her pre-teenage years. In a recent interview with WWD, Simmons opened up about the launch of her latest project and why it’s so different from the fashion businesses she’s helmed in the past.
“When people look at this they say, ‘Oh, this is Kimora when she was 12 or 13 at Chanel,” she said. “I didn’t have on makeup when I was at Givenchy and Saint Laurent. I worked with the greatest people in the business and this is more back to that person.”
Simmon’s new 30-look collection is much pricier than her previous projects, with pieces ranging from $500 to $2,400, but Simmons said that she’s adjusted her vision and mission with KLS hoping to keep the brand small yet high end. Designs include tailored coats, jersey dresses, jacquard suits and clean silhouettes throughout. Instead of striving for wholesale sales to other retailers, she plans to open her own shop in Beverly Hills in the spring.
She’s also currently expecting her fourth child, her first with Goldman Sachs banker husband Tim Leissner, and seems to be pulling back from the attention-grabbing designs that made Baby Phat so popular.
“It’s not as flashy. It’s not loud. I can do that. I sold out Radio City Music Hall [for Baby Phat fashion shows]. I projected things in Times Square,” Simmons said. “Now, everyone does that; I was the first one. So in that sense, this is a great departure.”
“I guess you would call it putting out a new image, but I think it’s more of an evolution,” she continued. “I’m not the same woman now. KLS isn’t catering to a teenage audience or a young party girl. I’m a serious businesswoman.”
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(Photo: John Parra/WireImage)