Kimora Lee Simmons paved the way for Beyonce and other music artists turned fashion designers — or so she claims.
“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. We really laid the blueprint for that,” Simmons told theGrio.com, a division of NBC News.
Beyonce launched a fashion line, House of Dereon, in 2006, along with her mother Tina Knowles. Justin Timberlake launched his own clothing line called William Rast in 2006 with his best friend Trace Ayala. P. Hip-hop mogul P. Diddy launched his Sean John clothing line in 1998. Jessica Simpson launched her own clothing line, aptly named the Jessica Simpson Collection, in 2006. Each line has gone on to become a multi-million dollar business.
Simmons, with the assistance of her then-husband Russell Simmons, became a fashion mogul when urban clothing line Baby Phat was launched in 1998.
In 2010, she split from the company, telling the New York Daily News, "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."
Russell Simmons began Phat Farm in 1992, and it has gone on to become a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Since leaving Baby Phat, Kimora Lee Simmons has become the president and creative director of fashion startup JustFabulous. She is set to star in a reality show “Kimora: House of Fab” on the Style Network.
Regarding artists-turned-designers, Simmons said, “One thing I love about myself is 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.”