kimora lee simmons/beyonce

Style icon Kimora Lee Simmons says she laid the ‘fashion blueprint’ for artists-turned-designers and she deserves her homage.

“Before us there wasn’t any Beyoncé, there wasn’t Sean John or Justin Timberlake, there wasn’t Jessica Simpson. There wasn’t any of that,” she said in an interview with the Grio. “We really laid the blueprint for that.”

Simmons, who was referring to the launch of Baby Phat and Phat Farm with then-husband Russell Simmons, says she paved the way for urban clothing lines to be successful.

She appeared to be referencing Beyonce’s House of Dereon, P.Diddy’s Sean John, Justin Timberlake’s William Rast and Jessica Simpson’s The Jessica Simpson Collection, which have all gone on to become a multi-million dollar lines.

“One thing I love about myself in this business is that I don’t have to rely on the sales of an album, or my movie being a hit for my clothing to be a hit,” she added.

In 2010, Simmons left Baby Phat to focus on her other three fashion lines, including KLS, Kouture by Kimora and Fabulosity.

These days, she is still very busy in the fashion world. Her latest project is JustFab.com, an online destination for fashion gems. She even has a new docu-series called Kimora: House of Fab, which premiered last night on the Style Network.

What do you think of Kimora’s comments? Did Baby Phat pave the way for other urban brands today?

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    I guess she just gon’ ignore Karl Kani and FUBU, huh?

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog Jade Noelle

    But before she married Russell, she wasn’t anybody so…

  • SAMURAI36

    Uhmm, didn’t FUBU come before Phat Farm?

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    They launched the same year, but Karl Kani was before both of them.

  • Nadell

    I detect shade. And as I recall her then husband’s line was the popular of the 2.
    And why do folks do that?? DEMAND props/homage….

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Not true, she was a supermodel BEFORE she married Russell she was walking the runway for brands like Chanel at a young age, let’s not downplay Ms. Simmons resume or base her sole success on marry her then husband. Sorry but I just think that type of logic does a disservice to women in general. As for the statement, I don’t think Baby phat paved the way per se because as mention there were other notable urban brands BEFORE hers but her brand did sort of up the ante and relaunch the look for urban wear in which other urban houses now still follow suit after hers on how to brand, market, distribute, advertise, etc.

  • gmarie

    As far as urban apparel for women, yes she did. Karl Kani laid the blue print for them all, but up until Babyphat came along there wasn’t any one urban brand that targeted women exclusively. This is why she has or (had) been able to keep babyphat relevant for so long and pull in so much money before selling for even more money. Most other Urban apparel brands for women that came AFTER BabyPhat have come and gone.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    I thought Cross Colors was the first.

  • lil ray

    model yes
    supermodel no

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Just reading her quotes, it seems like she was referring to celebrities turned fashion designers specifically, not urban fashion in general.

    I think Jaclyn Smith might have been the first celebrity turned fashion designer. Or maybe Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson.

    Phat farm was one of the first big time urban brands, but was she really a big celebrity before it exploded?

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog Jade Noelle

    I just think that interest in her label has a lot to do with the fact that she was married to Russell Simmons. I know she was a model before, and of course she had a career before Russell. She just wasn’t as well known before they got married and I don’t think Baby Phat would have been as successful if there were no Russell.

  • Pseudonym

    I suggest this as a celebrity resolution for 2013:

    Please stop this this trend of throwing shade at the hottest celebrity who’s done nothing wrong to shade thrower in order to piss their fans and other people off and get mention in the blogs. It’s negative attention and your publicist lied: all press is NOT good press.

    If you’re that fly, awesome, and talented, then you should be able to gain notoriety for the positive things that you bring and not rely on the negative and petty ones. Don’t knock the hustle that’s winning today, b/c you were on that same hustle not too long ago. and the 90s and 2000s have been a straight REMIX of all that has gone before, so very few people in this era of fashion, movies, and film can claim to be innovators. Real talk.

    Stand down.

    (Sorry! Rant.Over.)

  • Pseudonym

    Was she REALLY a SUPERMODEL, though? I was much into models and didn’t hear much buzz about her until AFTER Russell. Yes, she modeled, but SUPERMODEL is an elite title (i.e. Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Beverly Johnson, Iman, Claudi Shiffer- can’t spell her name)…Household names.

  • Mr. Man

    Yes Kimora you’ve done some big things in the business and yes you get props for it. First one to pave the way for urban female fashion, hmmm I don’t know maybe and I certainly don’t care enough to research it so I’ll hold off on my opinion.
    However I seem to remember Karl Kani selling women’s swimwear, but I suppose that would be different. Regardless I wonder if she’s gone on record giving props to Karl the one who unlocked and opened the door to urban fashion in the first place back in 1989?

  • sojourner4truth

    I agree. I interpreted her comment as Phat Farm is the forerunner to urban celebrity brands.

  • sojourner4truth

    I do think that Phat Farm is ONE forerunner to most of the brands that she mentioned. Although successful Karl Kani and Fubu did not leverage their brand into numerous platforms and products (fragrances, multimedia platforms, TV shows, media productions, social media, banking and finance, product placements, etc) like Phat Farm.

    Their forerunner status can be attributed to many things like timing (they exploded during the rise of technology) and Russell’s influence over and access to the entertainment industry. The reality is that Phat Farm is part of a continuum. The brand is not the beginning.

  • Ms. Write

    Nobody wears any of those brands anymore so……I don’t get the purpose of her comment. And she’s embellishing. Sorry boo, urban fashion didn’t start with Baby Phat or Phat Farm.

  • Shirl

    And to add to your comment..if you are that fly, awesome and talented there would be no need to remind folk how fly, awesome and talented you are.

  • http://gravatar.com/hsm36 Whatever

    She was a model, not a supermodel. No one knew who she was until she showed up in an Usher video and then married Russell Simmons. He ALREADY had Phat Farm for years before they were married… Baby Phat came about as the female line to Phat Farm.

    It is definitely fair to say she came into this because of her husband. Also, she is NOT a designer. She may oversee but she isn’t sitting at a drafting table sketching anything. Let’s not insult those that work hard to actually design clothing.

    Sigh, lastly, Baby Phat is tacky.

  • soulfullyreal

    i remember Cross Colors, FUBU, Karl Kani, Mecca and a other urban brands before Phat Farm. Maybe for women’s urban wear, i’ll give it to Baby Phat…

  • justanotheropinion

    Saying that you laid “the fashion blueprint for artists turned designer” (i.e. the FIRST in your field) is a HUGE statement. We should all be so confident (including having a spouse’s already established business’ financials to back us).

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Why do people say nobody knew who she was…um which people? Futhermore, I do agree to the fact that Russell Simmons did help her brand and gave her more exposure in our community and help further solidify her brand and staying power. But I won’t deny her involvement with the brand because if she wasn’t the face of Baby Phat I couldn’t see it taking off as it did, so yes she and her team deserves credit same thing with Vanessa/Angela Simmons line with pastry. And since we seem to be splitting hairs on the word supermodel then a top model because any model who can write a check for a million and later cash it is super in my opinion.

  • Pseudonym

    So, was she writing million dollar checks at 17 when she met Russel? or did she start writing those checks when she had his money? Big difference.

  • Whatever

    “Simmons did help her brand and gave her more exposure in our community and help further solidify her brand and staying power.”

    That’s the whole point, she did not have a “brand” before marrying Russell Simmons. She was also not writing any million dollar checks because she was not a super or top model making that much money. Vanessa and Angela had a platform to build their brand on MTV on their tv show so they built a fan base and interest.

    The real disservice to women is when a woman like Kimora, who comes into fame and fortune by marrying a successful man and using his resources, acts as though and takes the kind of credit that is reserved for women that built their success and credibility on their own accord.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    umm. she talked about justin timberlake and jessica simpson too tho….

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