How Kimora Lee Simmons Founded Baby Phat

Ladies, do you remember the cute logo with the blinged out cat that you wanted to see on all your jeans, coats and shirts? It was a style that accentuated your curves and flashed your beauty. Men, don’t act like you didn’t look forward to seeing a lady rocking Baby Phat jeans as she walked by you. The urban fashion line developed in 1999, a sister brand to Phat Farm that brought hip-hop’s fashion to a higher level.

Kimora Lee Simmons, founder of Baby Phat, alongside ex husband Russell Simmons, established a brand that would be the prize to many video vixens, showcased in several magazines and highlighted on BET’s annual ‘Rip the Runway’ event as well as other local fashion shows.

Kimora herself was no stranger to the fashion world having entered the industry from modeling school at a young age. She was signed to the prestigious fashion line, Chanel, at the age of 14, under a prominent designer Karl Legerfield. He then exposed her to higher heights in the fashion world.

Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat career started shortly after marrying Russell. Her husband at the time had begun creating baby clothing from his Phat Farm clothing line, when he passed the task onto his wife. Kimora then took the project on herself, and Baby Phat was created in 1999. She was named Creative Director and President of the line, taking it from baby t-shirts to a full line of urban women’s wear. She says,

“Baby Phat is pre-dominantly a jean company, but it has evolved into what I call a lifestyle brand. Everyone wants apart of that whole ‘Bling-Bling’ fantasy. So maybe you can’t get the Bentley, maybe you can’t get the phantom but you can get these jeans, you can get these sneakers, this outfit. The look, you can get something that is a piece of that whole world you want to get into.”  (Behind the Brand, Baby Phat Interview)

The brand joins high fashion and hip-hop together, making clothes for all shapes and sizes. If it’s not on the runway it’s featured in one of the hottest music videos.

Video on Runway:

Video of Ginuwine ‘In Those Jeans’:

Hip-hop icon Lil Kim was also known to be a top fan of Baby Phat, having modelled for the brand at Sony Atrium in New York City, New York, August 2000.

Photo of Lil Kim:×510-content-uploads-photo-admin–4f57d0387e9723f3f429.jpg

In January of 2004, Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons sold the apparel and licensing of the Baby Phat and Phat Farm brands to Kellwood Company for $140 million and from that point the line expanded. That same year, Kimora Lee and her husband signed a deal with Coty Inc. to create a line of women’s fragrances under the Kimora Lee Simmons brand. The couple also signed with Vida Shoes International to create a line of women’s shoes under the Baby Phat line. In 2007, Kimora Lee Simmons was promoted to President and Creative Director of Phat Fashions (Phat Farm and Baby Phat).

In August 2010, she moved on from the brand. “It’s over. It’s absolutely over. It was very abrupt and sudden. I was shocked. It’s very, very sad for me. It was totally unexpected.” Although it isn’t said why she left, after a good run of cultivating high-fashion and hip-hop, Kimora decided to label herself. With four brands under her name and another collaboration with Hello Kitty, Kimora Lee Simmons does not let any one get in her way.

Her brands include:

  • KLS- Kimora Lee Simmons, High fashion line.
  • Shinto Clinincal: A skin care line for aging skin and cosmetic therapy
  • Kouture: Juniors fashion brand
  • Fabulosity: Lifestyle brand for young women
  • Simmons Jewelry: A luxury jewelry brand

All items from her current brands are found at and any one looking to get a hold of Baby Phat can find it at Macy’s and other urban vendors.


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