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A Look at Kimora Lee Simmons
Courtesy of AskMen.com and Wikipedia
 

Kimora Lee Simmons is the daughter of a Japanese-Korean mother and an African American father She was born on May 3rd 1975.

Growing up in the middle class St. Louis suburb of Florissant, she was very self-conscious about being biracial. Other children called her "Chinky giraffe" because of her height and Asian ethnic ancestry. When she grew to 5-foot, 8-inches by the time she was ten years old, she became the easy target of schoolyard taunts and teasing. With no Asian population in her community, she also had difficulty fitting in with other African-American students who accused her of being white.

Hoping to boost her confidence, Simmons's mother enrolled her daughter in a modeling class when she was eleven years old. Two years later, at the age of thirteen, Simmons was awarded an exclusive modeling contract with Chanel, and just after her fourteenth birthday, she boarded a plane for Paris to work under the tutelage of famed Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld. Simmons quickly gained attention in the fashion world when Lagerfeld closed his haute-couture show with Simmons, who strutted down the runway decked out as a child bride. "Everything people thought was weird about me before," Simmons told People Weekly, "was now good".

By age 14, she had grown to a height of six feet, and became a self-professed muse for Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld.She and Karl Lagerfeld's three other fashion models Bernadette Jurkowski, Shoshanna Fitzgerald and Olga Sobolewska were dubbed "the four Karlettes". However, once Karl Lagerfeld had transformed her into one of the world's top fashion models, he resented her attitude and called her a $5,000-tote-bag- wearing monster.[cite this quote] She is a graduate of Lutheran North High School in St. Louis County, Missouri.


Hip-hop mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons first laid eyes on Kimora while she walked the runway at a Mary McFadden fashion show in the early '90s. At that time, Kimora was 17; Simmons, 18 years her senior. They remained in contact over the next few years, and the relationship eventually became more serious. Simmons asked for Kimora's hand in marriage on New Year's Eve 1997, and they began making preparations to wed on Sean Combs' yacht. These rushed plans fell through, however, and the couple was married in December of 1998 in a civil ceremony in New York City.

Later that month, the newlyweds exchanged vows in a more romantic ceremony in a stone Angelican house of worship on the Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy. Kimora's close friends, models Tyra Banks and Veronica Webb, were bridesmaids, and Simmons' brother Joseph, also known as Run-DMC's Reverend Run, performed his first official marriage ceremony.

The couple's reception was held on a yacht, and their guest list included the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Martha Stewart. The celebrations went on for the next 10 days until the couple moved on to their honeymoon destination, an exclusive spa on the isle of St. Maarten. The couple has two girls from the union: Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.

In 1999, Kimora Lee landed a gig hosting One World Music Beat, produced by hubby Russell. She made her acting debut in April of 2001, playing model Shamira in an episode of For Your Love entitled "The Model Client."Kimora was also cast as one of the celebrity judges on the reality series America's Next Top Model. A feud with Janice Dickinson forced her to leave the show after one season.

Kimora landed the role of a lifetime when she became head of Baby Phat clothing, an extension of the Phat Farm empire that was founded by her husband in 1992. This female clothing line originated as a guerrilla marketing ploy in which Simmons distributed baby tees to models such as Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell. Kimora became involved in 1999 just as the concept was taking off, recommending changes to the fit and style of the products. Simmons passed the growing business off to his wife, and she was named the company's CEO and creative director in March of 2002.

Baby Phat is an urban fashion line of clothing and other items for women and girls designed by Kimora Lee Simmons herself. Besides clothing, the brand also includes accessories for phones, shoes and clothes. It is the corporate "sibling" of the clothing brand Phat Farm. Baby Phat uses a sleek cat as the brand logo and is a multi-million dollar making brand. Although Russell and Kimora recently split in 2006, the duo will continue to work together with Phat Fashions.

Recently Kimora has continued to branch off into acting  and other appearances on tv and film and has appeared in the films Waist Deep and Beauty Shop, and also in Ginuwine's music video In Those Jeans.Kimora Lee is a playable character in the PlayStation 2 video game Def Jam Fight for NY and recently launched The Simmons Jewelry Company in partnership with M. Fabrikant and Sons, Inc.

Kimora is a change maker in the world (especially in fashion world) and will continue for years to come.


Kimora Lee Simmons
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