Kimora Lee Simmons Launches New Womenswear Collection; Opening Up Her Own Retail Store In Beverly Hills

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Kimora Lee Simmons Launches New Womenswear Collection; Opening Up Her Own Retail Store In Beverly Hills 1

Former model turned fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons has a lot going on these days. Back in October, I reported that she’s married billionaire Tim Leissner, a banker at Goldman Sachs, and the couple is expecting their first child together in April. She is the currently president and creative director for JustFab, and Kimora is launching KLS Kimora Lee Simmons, her collection of clean, tailored and taut designer ready-to-wear that reflects a new phase of her life.

It’s different for me. It’s, like, grown up,” says Simmons, referring to her new collection.

The campaign was lensed by David Sims and features Kimora modeling the collection back in August.

When people look at this they say, ‘Oh, this is Kimora when she was 12 or 13 at Chanel,’” she says, referring to her teenage modeling days, when she went from her hometown in Missouri to the runways in Paris. “I didn’t have on makeup when I was at Givenchy and Saint Laurent. I worked with the greatest people in the business and this is more back to that person.”

KLS’ first 30-look collection was presented in a Chelsea gallery space last week.

There’s a subtlety to the sexiness. It’s not overt,” says Simmons of a sharp tailored coat slit into panels on the front.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, “There’s jacquard suiting and thick jersey dresses with clean graphic lines that tastefully show off a woman’s curves with a little edge. Everything is produced in New York and looks like designer-level quality. Prices range from $500 for a top to $2,400 for a coat.”

Kimora on her evolution:

I’m not the same woman now. KLS isn’t catering to a teenage audience or a young party girl. I’m a serious businesswoman.”

Simmons’ new venture is financed via her company KLS Holdings, through which she has investments in several other startups, including beauty and tech. She is not interested in the licensing model through which Baby Phat and her various other brands, such as Kouture by Kimora, operated,” according to WWD.

I have shifted away from that,” she says. “I’ve had several brands. You sell them, they’re acquired and you may maintain some control, in the sense that for Baby Phat I stayed on for a very long time as an officer of the company. But visions do change.”

Simmons wants to keep KLS small, slow and steady, even launching with her own retail store, currently under construction in Beverly Hills, rather than wholesale. The store will open this spring.

It’s not as flashy. It’s not loud,” says Simmons of her new collection versus her old. “I can do that. I sold out Radio City Music Hall [for Baby Phat fashion shows]. I projected things in Times Square. Now, everyone does that; I was the first one. So in that sense, this is a great departure.”

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.