GM – FBF – – Today’s American Champion Is an American entrepreneur, fashion designer, TV personality, author, philanthropist and model.Today in our History May 4, 1975 – Kimora Lee Leissner (previously Simmons, née Perkins; born May 4, 1975) is born. Kimora Lee Perkins was born in St. Louis, Missouri and spent her early life in the northern St. Louis suburb of Florissant, Missouri. Kimora was born of African American and Japanese heritage. Nearly 6 feet tall by age 10, she was teased because of her height. To boost her confidence because of her height, Kimora’s mother enrolled her in a modeling class when she was eleven years old.At age 13, Perkins signed a modeling contract with Chanel and under the tutelage of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld.Simmons helped inspire Lagerfeld’s creative vision and call for racial inclusion, and paved the way for other mixed race models in the fashion world. Lagerfeld deemed her the “Face of the 21st Century”.She gained attention in the fashion world when she closed Lagerfeld’s haute couture show in 1989 as the “bride” – the concluding bridal look signature to every Chanel show under Lagerfeld’s tenure.’Simmons later modeled for Fendi, Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Kenzo, Anna Sui, Geoffrey Beene, and Yves Saint Laurent.In 1998, Simmons’ then husband, music mogul and entrepreneur, Russell Simmons, was at the helm of “Phat Farm”, an urban menswear brand. Simmons created a parallel women’s brand, “Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons”, under the umbrella of “Phat Fashions”.Simmons stepped in as Baby Phat’s designer,reating a collection based on what she would wear.In 2000, Kimora was appointed president and creative director of the Baby Phat brand. In 2001, Baby Phat reported gross revenue earnings of $30 million. By 2002 Phat Farm and Baby Phat had made a combined profit of $265 million.In 2004, the Kellwood Company purchased Phat Fashions for $140 million. Simmons stayed on as President and Creative Director of Baby Phat, expanding the label into a “lifestyle brand” with denim, accessories, jewelry, swimwear, fragrance and lingerie categories.Later that year, the label expanded to selling a custom Motorola i833 mobile phone sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s and partnered with Vida Shoes International, Inc. to create a shoe line. In 2006, she was named president of parent company Phat Fashions. In 2007, Phat fashions partnered with Silver Goose/Kidstreet to create an infant and toddler accessory line.In 2008 the Kellwood Company sold a majority stake in Phat Fashions to Sun Capital Partners, after which Simmons left Phat Fashions in 2010.In 2019 Simmons announced she had reacquired the Baby Phat brand and in August 2020 she announced Baby Phat Beauty line curated by her daughters Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.In 2005, Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons collaborated with Coty Inc. to launch its first-ever fragrance, Baby Phat Goddess which was carried by department stores including Sears and Macy’s.Baby Phat Goddess was then joined by Golden Goddess, Seductive Goddess, Baby Phat Fabulosity, Luv Me and Baby Phat Dare Me. After Kimora’s exit as President of Phat Fashions in 2010, she retained ownership of all licensing rights for her fragrance and cosmetics collection.Simmons created the Simmons Jewelry Company to market jewelry items under the Phat Farm and Baby Phat labels, which resulted in Simmons’s “Diamond Diva” line of jewelry. She then partnered with pop culture icon, Hello Kitty owned by Sanrio Ltd., in 2006 to launch “Kimora Lee Simmons for Hello Kitty” in Neiman Marcus. The Hello Kitty collection by Kimora Lee was expanded in 2008 with another collection of jewelry and watches being released in conjunction with the Zales Corporation.In May 2006 Kimora launched KLS Cosmetics with beauty giant Sephora and Macy’s stores. The collection consisted of color cosmetics and fragrances.Renowned for pioneering the introduction of glamour and feminine appeal to the urban brand category, Kimora Lee Simmons created a line for JCPenney in 2008, which combined the two worlds she knows best—high fashion and hip hop. Fabulosity was merchandised at JCPenney as an urban lifestyle offering in Juniors with a complete sportswear line that featured tees, knit tops and sweaters, jeans, skirts and dresses, as well as hoodies, jackets and outerwear.In 2010 Kimora launched her contemporary KLS fashion collection, which retailed to department stores like Macy’s. In tandem, the designer and creative director launched Kouture by Kimora, a brand of under $40 clothes exclusively for Macy’s. “I wanted to do something that spoke to a different market for Macy’s. It sits in a different section.I wanted this to be crossover. I wanted this to be colorless and really about fashion. And it’s what I call recession-proof. It’s really important to say that,” said Simmons. Kimora Lee Simmons launched her own anti-aging skincare line with Swiss skincare company Makari de Suisse in 2011. The anti-aging line was geared toward multi-ethnic women and consisted of plumpers and products to keep moisture in the skin.In 2012 Kimora Lee Simmons announced a new position as President and Creative Director for Just Fab, a personalized shopping website which she ran until 2015. Kimora skyrocketed JustFab into the fashion subscription stratosphere.With Kimora Lee Simmons’s direction, JustFab offered individualized boutiques to monthly subscribers who had completed an online fashion assessment. Just Fab and Kimora Lee Simmons made it easy for anyone to be fashionable by creating entire on-trend looks, which gave women of all fashion tastes the ability to affordably make their home closet their dream closet.Kimora launched her new, evolved KIMORA LEE SIMMONS women’s designer line, featuring Italian fabrics and handmade embellishments. This marked the first time Kimora entered the luxury American designer category. The KIMORA LEE SIMMONS collection was picked up by Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Farfetch and a network of boutiques nationwide.Simultaneously, Kimora instituted her venture portfolio of new and innovative businesses in the fields of (i) fashion (KLS and Baby Phat clothing), entertainment (All Def Media and Screenbid), (ii) technology (Sentient Technologies, Contra Software and Friendsurance), (iii) sports (Inter Milan and the Association of Volleyball Professionals) as well as (iv) consumer goods including Codage, an advanced technical skin care line in France, Pureform Global, the first manufacturer of non-cannabis, non-hemp, all natural CBD products, and Celisus, a “clean energy” negative calorie drink acquired in 2015. In Spring 2019 she co-launched Pellequr, a Beverly Hills spa.On International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, Kimora delivered the keynote address at the launch of the “She Innovates” initiative led by the UN Women and the Gender Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC).There, and to Bloomberg News, she officially leaked the news with a business announcement of her own – the reacquisition and forthcoming return of her ultra-iconic streetwear brand, Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!