Kimora Lee Simmons is entering the twilight of the beginning of middle age, and she's been making a slew of changes. Set to launch KLS Kimora Lee Simmons, a new clothing line full of sophisticated, business-focused silhouettes, the time was ripe for WWD to write a profile of her—also, because she is "literally barefoot and pregnant" and "wearing the chic urban mother's uniform of leather leggings and a turtleneck."
The profile has a cold-open, with details from Kimora's last few years: she has split from Phat Fashions, the brand she made iconic; married and had a kid with and split from Djimon Hounsou; joined JustFab, a shopping website; and married and is expecting with Tim Leissner, her new banker husband. She is, as WWD puts it, "in a new phase of her life."
KLS Kimora Lee Simmons is, it seems, Kimora trying to get back to basics, with a makeup-free ad campaign that is meant to throw back to her first days modeling as a teen. "I didn't have on makeup when I was at Givenchy and Saint Laurent," she explained. "I worked with the greatest people in the business and this is more back to that person." She will be hawking suits and dresses in an aspirational price range—$500 to $2400, so quotes WWD—and she will be doing so in a way that is very much NOT like Baby Phat:
What happened to the outrageous glamazon who was married to Russell Simmons and drove her young family through the annals of reality TV via "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane," her show that aired on the Style Network from 2007 to 2011?
"I guess you would call it putting out a new image, but I think it's more of an evolution," she says. "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."
While some of us Baby Phat devotees might argue that she was a serious businesswoman to begin with, let's not bury the lede: Baby Phat without Kimora is like Wheel of Fortune without Vanna. It's not the same, it will never be the same, it is wrong and kind of goes against the laws of nature, if we're being honest. And yet and still, Kimora is just literally trying to get back to basics, with her literally-barefoot-and-pregnant ass. As she told WWD, "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. Now, everyone does that; I was the first one. So in that sense, this is a great departure." Pour one out for the original Baby Phat.